New income data from the direct investment statistics shows that Comprise of the share of earnings that is not paid out to investors as dividend. It is instead withheld in the direct investment enterprise. This represents an income in the balance of payment and retained earnings in the financial account. fell to the lowest levels in the time series for both foreign enterprises in Norway and Norwegian enterprises abroad in 2020, with respectively -36 NOK billion and -57 NOK billion. This happened despite distributed earnings to direct investors in Norway and abroad being lower than the year before. In the direct investment statistics, we calculate reinvested earnings as the enterprise’s annual result for the actual year minus distributed earnings the same year. Even though there was a reduction compared to 2019, distributed earnings were still high in 2020. Hence, the main reason for the decrease in reinvested earnings is the low annual results abroad and in Norway. Figure 1 shows the development of reinvested earnings since the start of the series.

Figure 1. Reinvested earnings (NOK million), 2013-2020

High distributed earnings in 2020

Figure 2 shows the development of distributed earnings since the series started. It is perhaps surprising that there were high distributed earnings in 2020, the year of corona, but there are many factors into how the enterprises decide how much earnings should be distributed to the investors. One of the main factors are that distributed earnings given in a year are allocated dividends based on the annual result of the enterprise the year before. Because 2019 was a good year, relatively speaking, with good economic activity, the annual results of the enterprises were also good.

Figure 2. Distributed earnings (NOK Million), 2013-2020

Highest distributed earnings to foreign direct investors from mining and quarrying

Figure 3 shows distributed earnings to foreign direct investors in a selection of industries in Norway in 2020. The industry with the highest distributed earnings to foreign direct investors was mining and quarrying, with 38.7 billion NOK, followed by manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade, with respectively 10 billion NOK and 5.5 billion NOK. The size of the distributed earnings in the different industries are closely connected with the size of the total positions the foreign direct investors have in the different industries. Mining and quarrying and manufacturing are two industries in Norway where foreign direct investors have large positions of direct investments.

Figure 3. Distributed earnings (NOK Million), selected industries (SIC2007), foreign direct investment in Norway, 2020