This is an archived release.
Levelling out of economic growth
After five years of continuous growth in the Norwegian economy, there are signs that the growth levelled out in the first quarter. The development in the GDP and household consumption was weaker than in previous quarters. However, the rise in employment continued.
From the fourth quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2008, GDP for mainland Norway rose by 0.2 per cent. An important factor behind the weak growth was a decline in VAT and other special duties paid to the State. This must be seen in conjunction with a decline in the consumption of goods such as electricity and cars. The gross production in mainland Norway except duties (base value) rose by 0.6 per cent in the first quarter.
The gross production in the manufacturing industries and mining rose by 0.4 per cent from the fourth to the first quarter. There was a weak development in mining and several other manufacturing industries. Strong growth in the machine industry, in addition to building of ships and oil platforms, contributed to the overall growth in this industry group.
The growth in building and construction remained stable from the second half of 2007 with a growth of 0.4 per cent, whereas there was a decrease in electricity production for the second consecutive quarter.
Several service industries, which have been major contributors to the GDP growth in recent years, also seem to be experiencing a levelling out of production growth. In the first quarter, the total growth in the service industries was 0.5 per cent. The growth in business services is still strong, but the growth in financial services fell from the fourth to the first quarter.
Greater uncertainty than normal
Due to Easter falling in the first quarter this year as opposed to the second quarter last year, the uncertainty in the seasonally adjusted figures is higher than normal.
|2006||2007||1st quarter 2007||2nd quarter 2007||3rd quarter 2007||4th quarter 2007||1st quarter 2008|
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||2.5||3.7||1.2||0.6||1.6||1.3||0.2|
|Petroleum activities and ocean transport||-4.1||-4.6||-1.4||-2.8||0.6||1.9||0.3|
|Final domestic use of goods and services||5.5||5.8||0.2||2.4||1.6||3.9||-1.2|
|Final consumption exp. of households||4.6||6.4||3.2||0.9||1.0||1.0||0.3|
|Final consumption exp. of general government||2.9||3.6||0.7||1.1||1.4||0.6||0.7|
|Gross fixed capital formation||7.3||9.3||0.2||3.3||4.6||5.0||-4.8|
|Total man-hours worked||2.6||4.2||1.2||1.5||0.8||1.0||1.0|
Continued growth in employment
There is still a marked growth in employment. The number of employees rose by 0.8 per cent in the first quarter, and the growth was particularly strong within business services.
The employment rose by more than 100 000 from the first quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2008.
Small decrease in investments
Investments in the oil and gas sector fell by around 2 per cent in the first quarter, but are still at a high level.
Following strong growth in 2007, there was a small decrease in investments in the manufacturing industries from the fourth to the first quarter. The shipbuilding industry in particular saw investments drop, whereas investments in the other industries remained more or less unchanged from the fourth quarter.
New information shows that there was a slight decrease in housing investments in 2007. The decrease became more pronounced in the first quarter of 2008. The investment figures are mainly based on information on start-up and completion of housing. There was a considerable fall in start-up figures in December 2007 and the first three months of 2008.
Exports of traditional goods remained almost unchanged in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter of last year. In the same period, exports of services and oil and gas increased. The total increase in exports was 1 per cent.
Total imports fell in the first quarter. Imports of traditional goods rose by 2.2 per cent. A large part of this increase is attributed to increased imports of machinery.
The export prices increased more than the import prices, resulting in an improvement in Norway’s terms of trade in the first quarter compared with the corresponding quarter of 2007. This improvement is strongly related to higher prices of oil and gas. For traditional goods, the terms of trade have deteriorated.
|1st quarter||2nd quarter||3rd quarter||4th quarter||1st quarter||2nd quarter||3nd quarter||4th quarter||1st quarter|
As a result of the incorporation of new statistics, the figures have been revised since the last release.
Both the GDP total and for mainland Norway have been adjusted upwards by 0.2 percentage points for 2007, mainly due to new information about the primary industries. The seasonally adjusted growth for the GDP in the fourth quarter has not changed, but the GDP for mainland Norway has been adjusted upwards from 0.9 per cent to 1.1 per cent.
Seasonally adjusted figures for growth in household consumption have been adjusted downwards from 1.4 per cent to 1 per cent in the fourth quarter. This change is mainly due to new information about services consumption and household purchases abroad. The growth in gross investments in fixed real capital has been adjusted downwards by 3.2 percentage points, due to new information about exploration services.
|2007||1st quarter 2007||2nd quarter 2007||3rd quarter 2007||4th quarter 2007|
|New result||Former result||Seasonally adjusted figures||Unadjusted figures||Seasonally adjusted figures||Unadjusted figures||Seasonally adjusted figures||Unadjusted figures||Seasonally adjusted figures||Unadjusted figures|
|Percentage change in volume from the previous period||Percentage change in volume from the same period in the previous year||Percentage change in volume from the previous period||Percentage change in volume from the same period in the previous year||Percentage change in volume from the previous period||Percentage change in volume from the same period in the previous year||Percentage change in volume from the previous period||Percentage change in volume from the same period in the previous year|
|New result||Former result||New result||Former result||New result||Former result||New result||Former result||New result||Former result||New result||Former result||New result||Former result||New result||Former result|
|Gross domestic product||3.7||3.5||1.2||0.7||2.5||2.4||0.6||1.1||3.5||3.6||1.6||1.5||3.8||3.4||1.3||1.3||4.8||4.7|
|Household final consumtion expenditure||6.4||6.5||3.2||2.8||7.2||7.3||0.9||1.2||6.3||6.3||1.0||1.1||6.1||5.9||1.0||1.4||6.3||6.5|
|Final consumption of general government||3.6||3.2||0.7||0.7||2.2||2.2||1.1||0.9||3.9||3.7||1.4||1.2||4.2||3.7||0.6||0.3||3.9||3.1|
|Gross fixed capital formation||9.3||9.6||0.2||-1.1||7.9||7.5||3.3||4.3||4.2||3.9||4.6||4.5||11.6||10.5||5.0||8.2||13.0||15.8|
For explanations of terms and additional information, see Focus on national accounts .