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Norway Economy Profile

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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.

GDP (purchasing power parity)$340.303 billion (2019 est.)

$336.418 billion (2018 est.)

$332.135 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$405.695 billion (2019 est.)
GDP - real growth rate0.86% (2019 est.)

1.36% (2018 est.)

2.75% (2017 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$63,633 (2019 est.)

$63,333 (2018 est.)

$62,941 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
Gross national saving33.3% of GDP (2019 est.)

35.9% of GDP (2018 est.)

34.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold 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.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 2.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 33.7% (2017 est.)

services: 64% (2017 est.)
Ease of Doing Business Index scoresOverall score: 82.6 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 94.3 (2020)

Trading score: 97 (2020)

Enforcement score: 81.3 (2020)
Population below poverty line12.7% (2018 est.)
Labor force2.699 million (2020 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 2.1%

industry: 19.3%

services: 78.6% (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate3.72% (2019 est.)

3.89% (2018 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 10%

male: 10.4%

female: 9.5% (2019 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.8%

highest 10%: 21.2% (2014)
Distribution of family income - Gini index27 (2017 est.)

25.8 (1995)
Budgetrevenues: 217.1 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 199.5 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues54.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)4.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt36.5% 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
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.1% (2019 est.)

2.7% (2018 est.)

1.8% (2017 est.)
Credit ratingsFitch rating: AAA (1995)

Moody's rating: Aaa (1997)

Standard & Poors rating: AAA (1975)
Agriculture - productsmilk, barley, wheat, potatoes, oats, pork, poultry, beef, eggs, rye
Industriespetroleum and gas, shipping, fishing, aquaculture, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles
Industrial production growth rate1.5% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance$16.656 billion (2019 est.)

$31.111 billion (2018 est.)
Exports$185.101 billion (2019 est.)

$184.094 billion (2018 est.)

$185.952 billion (2017 est.)
Exports - commoditiescrude petroleum, natural gas, fish, refined petroleum, aluminum (2019)
Exports - partnersUnited Kingdom 18%, Germany 14%, Netherlands 10%, Sweden 9%, France 6%, United States 5% (2019)
Imports$158.037 billion (2019 est.)

$150.972 billion (2018 est.)

$148.802 billion (2017 est.)
Imports - commoditiescars, refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment, natural gas, crude petroleum (2019)
Imports - partnersSweden 17%, Germany 12%, China 8%, Denmark 7%, United States 6%, United Kingdom 5%, Netherlands 5% (2019)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$65.92 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$57.46 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$651.04 billion (2019 est.)

$648.878 billion (2018 est.)

note: Norway is a net external creditor
Exchange ratesNorwegian kroner (NOK) per US dollar -

8.81535 (2020 est.)

9.14245 (2019 est.)

8.4837 (2018 est.)

8.0646 (2014 est.)

6.3021 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on September 18, 2021

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