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Norway Economy

    Economy—overview: Norway is a prosperous bastion of welfare capitalism. The economy consists of a combination of free market activity and government intervention. The government controls key areas, such as the vital petroleum sector (through large-scale state enterprises), and extensively subsidizes agriculture, fishing, and areas with sparse resources. Norway maintains an extensive welfare system that helps propel public sector expenditures to more than 50% of GDP and results in one of the highest average tax levels in the world. A major shipping nation, with a high dependence on international trade, Norway is basically an exporter of raw materials and semiprocessed goods. The country is richly endowed with natural resources—petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals—and is highly dependent on its oil production and international oil prices. Only Saudi Arabia exports more oil than Norway. Norway imports more than half its food needs. Oslo opted to stay out of the EU during a referendum in November 1994. Economic growth in 1999 should drop to about 1%. Despite their high per capita income and generous welfare benefits, Norwegians worry about that time in the 21st century when the oil and gas run out.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$109 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 2.4% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$24,700 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 2%
    industry: 30%
    services: 68% (1997)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 4.1%
    highest 10%: 21.2% (1991)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.3% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 2.3 million (1998 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: services 71%, industry 23%, agriculture, forestry, and fishing 6% (1993)

    Unemployment rate: 2.6% (yearend 1997)

    Budget:
    revenues: $48.6 billion
    expenditures: $53 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994 est.)

    Industries: petroleum and gas, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles, fishing

    Industrial production growth rate: 2.7% (1998 est.)

    Electricity—production: 103.374 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 0.76%
    hydro: 99.23%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0.01% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 112.374 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 4.2 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 13.2 billion kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: oats, other grains; beef, milk; fish

    Exports: $39.8 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

    Exports—commodities: petroleum and petroleum products 55%, machinery and equipment, metals, chemicals, ships, fish (1997)

    Exports—partners: EU 76% (UK 19%, Germany 10%, Netherlands 11%, Sweden 9%, France 8%), US 6% (1997)

    Imports: $37.1 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, foodstuffs

    Imports—partners: EU 68% (Sweden 16%, Germany 14%, UK 9%, Denmark 7%, Netherlands 4%), US 6%, Japan 4%(1997)

    Debt—external: none—Norway is a net external creditor

    Economic aid—donor: ODA, $1.4 billion (1998)

    Currency: 1 Norwegian krone (NKr) = 100 oere

    Exchange rates: Norwegian kroner (NKr) per US$1—7.4524 (January 1999), 7.5451 (1998), 7.0734 (1997), 6.4498 (1996), 6.3352 (1995), 7.0576 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)