Oil price collapse ‘is now behind us’

An optimistic Norwegian government presented a revised state budget on Thursday that proposes few changes in the annual budget for 2017 that was approved in December. That’s because the economic program laid out in the budget is working well, according to Finance Minister Siv Jensen. “Unemployment is on its way down and economic growth is on its […]

Prudence prevails in use of Oil Fund

Even though Finance Minister Siv Jensen has tapped into more of Norway’s oil revenues than any of her predecessors, to pad the state budget, the country’s famous Oil Fund just keeps growing. It’s the ultimate piggy bank, more than 70 percent bigger now than when Jensen assumed her post in 2013, and new figures show that […]

No change in rates despite weak krone

Norway’s central bank (Norges Bank) decided to keep its key policy rate unchanged at 0.5 percent on Thursday, even though the Norwegian krone has weakened considerably in recent weeks. The weak krone is baffling some local analysts, who can’t understand why it’s lost value as the economy strengthens. “In general I would say that the […]

DNB: Economic optimism has returned

The investment banking arm of Norway’s biggest bank has reported a much brighter economic outlook for the country than that described by politicians trying to oust the conservative government. DNB Markets believes the oil industry crisis is letting up, unemployment rates are declining and gross national product is on the rise. The outlook is brighter than […]

Government acts to curb consumer debt

Norway’s conservative government coalition, alarmed by the growth of consumer debt in the country, followed through this week on plans to curb it. Three ministries acted together to present stricter regulations, establishment of a debt register and monthly billings that clearly show a customers’ total debt. Finance Minister Siv Jensen is especially cracking down on what she […]

Shell cuts another 231 jobs

The oil industry crisis isn’t over for the Norwegian subsidiary of Dutch oil company Shell. Its Shell Norge unit plans to lay off 75 full-time employees later this year, plus another 156 workers hired in on a temporary basis. The job cuts come as work winds down on Shell’s Draugen platform in the Norwegian Sea and at its gas plant […]

Property tax bills spark more outcry

Several cultural institutions and humanitarian organizations are the latest to be hit by new property tax bills from the City of Oslo that they claim can threaten their operations. Taxpayers in other cities and towns around Norway are also receiving shocking bills, many in areas where the local economy is thriving and the local government has […]

Conservatives gain on Labour’s loss

NEWS ANALYSIS: Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s Conservative Party has scored a major gain in the latest public opinon poll, which also logged the worst showing for the Labour Party since Jonas Gahr Støre became its leader. The Conservatives are clearly riding a new wave of support tied to their annual national meeting last weekend, even though critics […]

Interest rates stay low

The board of Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, opted once again to keep its key lending rate low and unchanged at 0.5 percent on Thursday. The bank itself now predicts that interest rates will remain low for several years ahead. “Monetary policy remains expansive and supports restructuring of the Norwegian economy,” central bank chief Øystein Olsen […]

‘Norway Creates Jobs in the US’

Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende flew to Washington DC this past week with a bold and unusual message for the new US Trump Administration and Republican politicians who support it. Armed with statistics compiled with the help of the Norwegian Embassy in Washington, Brende intended to prove how a foreign country like Norway doesn’t threaten to take jobs […]