Updated figures from General government revenue and expenditure show a 14 per cent increase in accumulated revenue in 2021 Q3, while the accumulated expenditure only increased by 2 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2020. In 2020 Q3 there was an accumulated deficit of NOK 36 billion, while there was an accumulated surplus of NOK 135 billion in 2021 Q3. Despite this improvement in government finance, the surplus is not nearing the surplus of the years prior to the pandemic.

Figure 1. Net lending/borrowing (1 year moving average)

Increase in petroleum revenue

There has been a significant increase in petroleum revenues in 2021 Q3. The petroleum revenues were low in 2020 as a result of low oil prices and provisional amendments made to taxation of oil and gas companies. Tax revenues, as well as dividends and withdrawals from petroleum companies owned by the state, are now rising, in large parts due to high gas prices.

Revised time series

In addition to new figures for 2021 Q3, both quarterly and annual series are revised back in time. The most notable changes to annual data include a reclassification of a transfer to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, which lead to a reduction of NOK 1.5 billion in capital transfers in 2019. In 2020 the estimate on accrued income tax from personal taxpayers was increased by NOK 5 billion, which contributed to reducing the 2020 deficit.

Regarding quarterly figures, there are intra annual revisions from 2016 onwards. This concerns taxes, administrative fees and sales, use of goods and services, social benefits in kind and gross fixed capital formation. The purpose of the revision is to improve transparency by bringing the statistical figures more in line with source data, simplify the compilation and reduce large discrepancies with financial accounts.