Flag of Norway

Norway Economy Profile 2018

Home > Factbook > Countries > Norway

Economy - overviewNorway 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; nonetheless, as a member of the European Economic Area, it contributes sizably to the EU budget.

The country is richly endowed with natural resources in addition to oil and gas, including hydropower, 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, though oil production in 2016 was close to 50% below its peak in 2000; annual gas production, conversely, more than doubled over the same time period. After a continual decline from 2001 to 2013, oil production rose in 2016 for the third year running, due to the higher production of existing oil fields and to new fields coming on stream.

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 almost $900 billion as of early 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. Lower oil prices in 2015 and 2016 caused growth to slow, increased unemployment, and weakened the Norwegian krone. The latter trend has mitigated the negative impact of lower oil and gas prices by making Norwegian exports cheaper for foreign buyers. The government has expressed willingness to increase public spending from the sovereign wealth fund to help prevent a recession.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$375.9 billion (2017 est.)
$370.9 billion (2016 est.)
$366.9 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$392.1 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.4% (2017 est.)
1.1% (2016 est.)
1.6% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$70,600 (2017 est.)
$70,600 (2016 est.)
$70,500 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving34.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
34.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
36.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 44.7%
government consumption: 24.6%
investment in fixed capital: 23.8%
investment in inventories: 4%
exports of goods and services: 36.4%
imports of goods and services: -33.5% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 2.4%
industry: 31.1%
services: 66.5% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Labor force2.797 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 2.1%
industry: 19.3%
services: 78.6% (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate4% (2017 est.)
4.7% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 11.1%
male: 13%
female: 9.3% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 21.2% (2014)
Distribution of family income - Gini index26.8 (2010)
25.8 (1995)
Budgetrevenues: $214.3 billion
expenditures: $198 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues54.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)4.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt37% of GDP (2017 est.)
35.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes 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 intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental 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
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.1% (2017 est.)
3.6% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate6.25% (31 December 2010)
1.75% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate1.5% (31 December 2017 est.)
1.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$236.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$214 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$272.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$234.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$650.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$571.7 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.)
Agriculture - productsbarley, wheat, potatoes; pork, beef, veal, milk; fish
Industriespetroleum and gas, shipping, fishing, aquaculture, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles
Industrial production growth rate1% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance$21.73 billion (2017 est.)
$18.43 billion (2016 est.)
Exports$102.8 billion (2017 est.)
$88.88 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum and petroleum products, machinery and equipment, metals, chemicals, ships, fish
Exports - partnersUK 21%, Germany 14.4%, Netherlands 10.7%, France 6.9%, Sweden 6.5%, Belgium 4.4%, US 4.3%, Denmark 4% (2016)
Imports$79.9 billion (2017 est.)
$73.62 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, foodstuffs
Imports - partnersGermany 12.2%, Sweden 12.2%, China 11.2%, US 6.6%, Denmark 5.7%, UK 5.2%, Netherlands 4.1% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$60.45 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$57.46 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$642.3 billion (31 March 2016 est.)
$640.1 billion (31 March 2015 est.)
note: Norway is a net external creditor
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$217.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$219.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$205.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$191.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesNorwegian 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.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018

Economy Comparison