Updated figures from General government revenue and expenditure show a large increase in revenue, while the expenditure has a moderate increase. This contributes to a substantial surplus in general government.

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

Increased petroleum revenue

The increased revenues in 2022Q1 are mainly due to an increase in petroleum revenue. Petroleum taxes are now at an all-time high, in stark contrast with the very low levels of petroleum taxes in 2020. Dividends and withdrawals from petroleum companies owned by the state are also rising, contributing to the increase in surplus.

Expenditure by function normalized

In addition to the release of figures for 2022Q1, figures for 2021 are also updated. Data on total government expenditure by function show that the distribution of public spending across the different policy areas are less influenced by the pandemic in 2021 compared to the previous year.

A significant share of the massive public spending in 2020 was targeted at the business sector in general. In government finance statistics this is allocated to the function labelled economic affairs. In 2019, before the pandemic, this function represented 11 per cent of total government expenditure. In 2020 it rose by 3 percentage points to 14 per cent. Some of the government’s measures were also effective in 2021, but the share of expenditure attributable to economic affairs dropped to 12 per cent.

In this data release, accrued taxes from personal taxpayers in 2021 are subject to a substantial upward adjustment. In total, taxes are up NOK 26 billion. This is related to new information on dividends receivable by personal share owners. In the autumn of 2021, it was decided to increase the tax rate on dividends from 1 January 2022. This resulted in a sizable growth in declared dividends in late 2021.