Weak balance of income and current transfers
The balance of income and current transfers was negative for the 4th quarter of 2018. The last time this happened was in 2013.
Preliminary figures for the 4th quarter of 2018 show a NOK 8 billion deficit in the balance of income and current transfers. This is the first time since 2013 that the balance of income and current transfers is negative. In recent years, this balance has been positive, in particular because of a high return on investments from the Government Pension Fund Global, according to updated figures from balance of payments.
Export and imports
Exports of goods and services in the 4th quarter of 2018 ended at NOK 352 billion. This is NOK 4 billion more compared to the previous quarter, and NOK 35 billion more compared to the same quarter in the previous year. The income from crude oil and natural gas counts for 44 per cent of the total export value.
The preliminary figures for the total import in the 4th quarter of 2018 ended at NOK 297 billion, which is about NOK 4 billion more than the preceding quarter, and NOK 9 billion more than the same quarter in 2017.
From the 3rd to the 4th quarter, both exports and imports of goods increased, while exports and imports of services for the same period declined.
For more information about exports and imports, including price and volume considerations and seasonal adjustments, please see the quarterly national accounts.
The balance of income and current transfers
Preliminary figures for the balance of income and current transfers in the 4th quarter ended at NOK -8 billion. It is the first time since 2013 that the balance of income and current transfers is a negative figure. The balance of income and current transfers was reduced by NOK 45 billion compared to the previous quarter. The income was reduced by NOK 7 billion and the expenses increased by NOK 38 billion, largely due to the increasing dividends paid to investors abroad. Despite this, the balance of income and current transfers for 2018 ended at NOK 7 billion, which is 8 per cent higher than 2017.
The balance of income and current transfers is preliminary calculated at NOK 47 billion for the 4th quarter of 2018.
Increased investments abroad
During the 4th quarter of 2018, Norwegians invested NOK 161 billion abroad. At the same time, foreigners invested NOK 106 billion in Norway, resulting in a net lending of NOK 58 billion.
Throughout 2018, investments abroad made by Norwegians amounted to NOK 332 billion, while foreign investments in Norway amounted to NOK 63 billion. Thus, Norwegians invested NOK 269 billion more abroad than foreigners invested in Norway during 2018. Norway’s net lending was positive in every quarter of 2018.
Portfolio investments abroad contributed substantially to the sum of investments from Norway, amounting to NOK 292 billion of the total NOK 332 billion.