Stable growth in mainland GDP
Growth in gross domestic product (GDP) for mainland Norway was 0.6 per cent in the 1st quarter of 2018. This is the fifth quarter with growth between 0.6 and 0.7 per cent.
Figure 1. Gross domestic product. Seasonally adjusted. Volume indices. 2015=100
|Gross domestic product||Gross domestic product, Mainland-Norway|
Figure 2. Gross fixed capital formation and consumption. Seasonally adjusted. Volume indices. 2015=100
|Gross fixed capital formation, Mainland-Norway||Consumption in households|
Commodity production excluding manufacturing and mining activities showed an increase of 1.2 per cent in the 1st quarter. This is explained by strong growth in electricity production, traditional fishing and aquaculture. In construction, which has grown strongly over the last two years, growth has stopped.
The activity level for non-governmental services industries increased by 0.6 per cent, like the three previous quarters. There was clear growth in most areas, with the exception of oil and gas extraction services. Public sector activity, both government and local government, increased by 1.0 and 0.8 per cent, respectively, in the 1st quarter.
Seasonally adjusted figures show that value added in manufacturing and mining grew weak in the 1st quarter after a 1.7 per cent growth in the previous quarter. Oil-related manufacturing industries such as shipbuilding and metal manufacturing contributed positively, while the food industry, oil refining and chemical raw materials production declined.
Activity in the petroleum sector increased in the 1st quarter after a sharp decline in the quarter before, contributing to a 0.6 per cent rise in GDP.
Weak consumption growth in households
Household total consumption was unchanged from the 4th quarter of 2017 to the 1st quarter of 2018. By comparison, growth was 0.9 per cent in the 4th quarter. The weak consumer spending in the 1st is explained by a drop in consumption of goods of 1.1 per cent, mainly due to low car purchases in the first two months of the year. The service consumption has stabilised growth and contributed along with increased consumption abroad to maintain the level of consumption.
Public consumption increased by 0.6 per cent in the 1st quarter.
Fall in investments
In total, gross investments fell by 5.1 per cent in the 1st quarter following an increase in the previous quarter. Petroleum investments for the 4th quarter of 2017 are heavily adjusted from the publication in February, showing a growth of 9.3 per cent. Preliminary calculations for the first quarter show a fall of 11.1 per cent, mainly due to postponement of initiation of some projects.
Gross investment in mainland Norway fell 3.5 per cent in the 1st quarter, following a slight growth in the two previous quarters. Investments in dwellings, which have had a nearly continuous growth from early 2015, fell at the end of 2017, and were further reduced in the 1st quarter of 2018. There was also a decline in manufacturing investments after two quarters with growth, while there was strong growth in the investments in electricity production and distribution.
Otherwise, the figures show a decline in government investments, but this must be seen in the context of the defence receiving three combat aircraft in the 4th quarter of 2017.
Increased exports of traditional goods
Exports of traditional goods continued to grow by 1.7 per cent in the 1st quarter following a steady rise throughout 2017. Especially exports of machinery products contributed to the increase. There was also an increase in the export volume of oil and gas. Preliminary calculations show that service exports were reduced, which dampened the increase in total exports.
Imports of traditional goods increased 0.6 per cent, while preliminary figures show a decline in service imports. Total imports fell by 1.3 per cent in the 1st quarter after a growth of over 4 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2017.
Preliminary calculations show that employment adjusted for seasonal variations increased by 0.5 per cent, or about 15 000¹ persons in the 1st quarter. Nearly half of the employment rate was in public administration. In addition, there were more than 41 000 more employed in the 1st quarter of 2018 than in the same quarter last year. Number of hours worked in the 1st quarter increased by 0.6 per cent following increasing growth throughout 2017.
Figures for the 1st to the 4th quarter 2017 have been revised
In connection with the release of the figures for the 1st quarter of 2018, all quarters in 2017 are revised. The new figures show a quarterly growth in GDP for Mainland Norway of 0.7, 0.6, 0.7 and 0.7 per cent, which implies an upward revision in both the 1st and 4th quarter.
An overview of the revisions in macroeconomic variables is given in Appendix table no. 8. For an overview of developments in the gross domestic product for some of our trading partners, see OECD’s statistics.