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Norway vs. Russia

Economy

NorwayRussia
Economy - overview

Norway has a stable economy with a vibrant private sector, a large state sector, and an extensive social safety net. Norway opted out of the EU during a referendum in November 1994. However, as a member of the European Economic Area, Norway partially participates in the EU’s single market and contributes sizably to the EU budget.

The country is richly endowed with natural resources such as oil and gas, fish, forests, and minerals. Norway is a leading producer and the world’s second largest exporter of seafood, after China. The government manages the country’s petroleum resources through extensive regulation. The petroleum sector provides about 9% of jobs, 12% of GDP, 13% of the state’s revenue, and 37% of exports, according to official national estimates. Norway is one of the world's leading petroleum exporters, although oil production is close to 50% below its peak in 2000. Gas production, conversely, has more than doubled since 2000. Although oil production is historically low, it rose in 2016 for the third consecutive year due to the higher production of existing oil fields and to new fields coming on stream. Norway’s domestic electricity production relies almost entirely on hydropower.

In anticipation of eventual declines in oil and gas production, Norway saves state revenue from petroleum sector activities in the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, valued at over $1 trillion at the end of 2017. To help balance the federal budget each year, the government follows a "fiscal rule," which states that spending of revenues from petroleum and fund investments shall correspond to the expected real rate of return on the fund, an amount it estimates is sustainable over time. In February 2017, the government revised the expected rate of return for the fund downward from 4% to 3%.

After solid GDP growth in the 2004-07 period, the economy slowed in 2008, and contracted in 2009, before returning to modest, positive growth from 2010 to 2017. The Norwegian economy has been adjusting to lower energy prices, as demonstrated by growth in labor force participation and employment in 2017. GDP growth was about 1.5% in 2017, driven largely by domestic demand, which has been boosted by the rebound in the labor market and supportive fiscal policies. Economic growth is expected to remain constant or improve slightly in the next few years.

Russia has undergone significant changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union, moving from a centrally planned economy towards a more market-based system. Both economic growth and reform have stalled in recent years, however, and Russia remains a predominantly statist economy with a high concentration of wealth in officials' hands. Economic reforms in the 1990s privatized most industry, with notable exceptions in the energy, transportation, banking, and defense-related sectors. The protection of property rights is still weak, and the state continues to interfere in the free operation of the private sector.

Russia is one of the world's leading producers of oil and natural gas, and is also a top exporter of metals such as steel and primary aluminum. Russia is heavily dependent on the movement of world commodity prices as reliance on commodity exports makes it vulnerable to boom and bust cycles that follow the volatile swings in global prices. The economy, which had averaged 7% growth during the 1998-2008 period as oil prices rose rapidly, has seen diminishing growth rates since then due to the exhaustion of Russia’s commodity-based growth model.

A combination of falling oil prices, international sanctions, and structural limitations pushed Russia into a deep recession in 2015, with GDP falling by close to 2.8%. The downturn continued through 2016, with GDP contracting another 0.2%, but was reversed in 2017 as world demand picked up. Government support for import substitution has increased recently in an effort to diversify the economy away from extractive industries.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$381.2 billion (2017 est.)
$374 billion (2016 est.)
$370 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$4.016 trillion (2017 est.)
$3.955 trillion (2016 est.)
$3.963 trillion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - real growth rate
0.86% (2019 est.)
1.36% (2018 est.)
2.75% (2017 est.)
1.34% (2019 est.)
2.54% (2018 est.)
1.83% (2017 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$72,100 (2017 est.)
$71,200 (2016 est.)
$71,100 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$27,900 (2017 est.)
$27,500 (2016 est.)
$27,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 2.3% (2017 est.)
industry: 33.7% (2017 est.)
services: 64% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 4.7% (2017 est.)
industry: 32.4% (2017 est.)
services: 62.3% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
NA
13.3% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 21.2% (2014)
lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 32.2% (2012 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
1.9% (2017 est.)
3.6% (2016 est.)
3.7% (2017 est.)
7.1% (2016 est.)
Labor force
2.699 million (2020 est.)
69.923 million (2020 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 2.1%
industry: 19.3%
services: 78.6% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 9.4%
industry: 27.6%
services: 63% (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate
3.72% (2019 est.)
3.89% (2018 est.)
4.6% (2019 est.)
4.8% (2018 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
26.8 (2010)
25.8 (1995)
41.2 (2015)
41.9 (2013)
Budget
revenues: 217.1 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 199.5 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 258.6 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 281.4 billion (2017 est.)
Industries
petroleum and gas, shipping, fishing, aquaculture, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles
complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; defense industries (including radar, missile production, advanced electronic components), shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical and scientific instruments; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, handicrafts
Industrial production growth rate
1.5% (2017 est.)
-1% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products
barley, wheat, potatoes; pork, beef, veal, milk; fish
grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables, fruits; beef, milk
Exports
$102.8 billion (2017 est.)
$88.88 billion (2016 est.)
$353 billion (2017 est.)
$281.9 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
petroleum and petroleum products, machinery and equipment, metals, chemicals, ships, fish
petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, metals, wood and wood products, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures
Exports - partners
UK 21.1%, Germany 15.5%, Netherlands 9.9%, Sweden 6.6%, France 6.4%, Belgium 4.8%, Denmark 4.7%, US 4.6% (2017)
China 10.9%, Netherlands 10%, Germany 7.1%, Belarus 5.1%, Turkey 4.9% (2017)
Imports
$95.06 billion (2017 est.)
$74.94 billion (2016 est.)
$238 billion (2017 est.)
$191.6 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, foodstuffs
machinery, vehicles, pharmaceutical products, plastic, semi-finished metal products, meat, fruits and nuts, optical and medical instruments, iron, steel
Imports - partners
Sweden 11.4%, Germany 11%, China 9.8%, US 6.8%, South Korea 6.7%, Denmark 5.4%, UK 4.7% (2017)
China 21.2%, Germany 10.7%, US 5.6%, Belarus 5%, Italy 4.5%, France 4.2% (2017)
Debt - external
$642.3 billion (31 March 2016 est.)
$640.1 billion (31 March 2015 est.)
note: Norway is a net external creditor
$539.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$434.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
Norwegian kroner (NOK) per US dollar -
8.308 (2017 est.)
8.3978 (2016 est.)
8.3978 (2015 est.)
8.0646 (2014 est.)
6.3021 (2013 est.)
Russian rubles (RUB) per US dollar -
58.39 (2017 est.)
67.056 (2016 est.)
67.056 (2015 est.)
60.938 (2014 est.)
38.378 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year
calendar year
Public debt
36.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
36.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data exclude treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

15.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
16.1% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment, debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$65.92 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$57.46 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$432.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$377.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance
$16.656 billion (2019 est.)
$31.111 billion (2018 est.)
$65.311 billion (2019 est.)
$115.68 billion (2018 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$398.8 billion (2017 est.)
$1.578 trillion (2017 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$236.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$219.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$535.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$461.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$196.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$191.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$470.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$418 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$193.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$219.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$265.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$635.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$393.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$385.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate
6.25% (31 December 2010)
1.75% (31 December 2009)
10% (31 December 2016 est.)
11% (3 August 2015)

note: this is the so-called refinancing rate, but in Russia banks do not get refinancing at this rate; this is a reference rate used primarily for fiscal purposes

Commercial bank prime lending rate
2.89% (31 December 2017 est.)
2.96% (31 December 2016 est.)
10.55% (31 December 2017 est.)
12.59% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$640.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$571.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$940.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$827.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$237.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$214 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$255.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$195.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$237.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$214 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$255.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$195.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
54.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
16.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
4.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
-1.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 9.7%
male: 10.7%
female: 8.6% (2018 est.)
total: 17%
male: 16.2%
female: 17.9% (2018 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 44.8% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 24% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 24.1% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 4.8% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 35.5% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -33.2% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 52.4% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 18% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 21.6% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 2.3% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 26.2% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -20.6% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving
34.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
33.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
35.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
26.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
25.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
26.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

Source: CIA Factbook