Bank boss had to alter annual address

Norway’s central bank boss Øystein Olsen had to make some last-minute changes in his important annual address on the economy Thursday evening. Just hours before he took the podium, government leaders announced they were finally going along with something he’s recommended for years: putting new limits on the use of Norway’s oil revenues. Olsen, governor of […]

Government reins in Oil Fund use

Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Finance Minister Siv Jensen, who have transferred more money from Norway’s Oil Fund to the state budget than any of their predecessors, now propose tying such withdrawals in the future to “more realistic,” and lower, expected returns. That can further limit the use of Norway’s oil revenues, and they also want to […]

Statoil optimistic in a new oil market

After years releasing a lot of bad news, the chief executive of Norway’s biggest and arguably most important company now seems defiantly optimistic. Statoil CEO Eldar Sætre even had his closest associates laughing last week, just before they all had to release some of the poorest results in the company’s history. They’re all confident that the […]

Telenor, Statkraft cut hundreds of jobs

Norwegian power company Statkraft and state-controlled telecoms firm Telenor announced more major jobs cuts on Thursday. At Telenor, the cuts were blamed on the ongoing shift to new technology. That’s what’s often leading to job losses these days, as opposed to trade issues and cheaper overseas production. The new job cuts come just a day after […]

Norwegians regain faith in the economy

For the fourth quarter in a row, surveys and key indicators suggest that Norwegians have regained confidence in the country’s economy and have higher economic expectations. “It looks like things are in fact going better,” claims Idar Kreutzer, leader of the country’s national finance industry organization. Kreutzer, managing director of the nationwide organization Finans Norge, told […]

New oil minister bullish as usual

Terje Søviknes, a veteran politician from the conservative Progress Party, made his North Sea debut as Norway’s new oil and energy minister this week when he officially opened the Ivar Aasen field, around 175 kilometers off Karmøy. Søviknes has already proven himself to be just as bullish on Norway’s oil industry as all his recent predecessors. Søviknes […]

Taxes can usher in sharing economy

A government-appointed commission has cleared the way for the sharing economy to spread in Norway, as long as new services like Airbnb lodging and Uber transport are taxed. The commission believes such services provide more competition and offer more choices for consumers, but labour unions and not least the taxi industry raised immediate objections. The commission’s report may, as newspaper Aftenposten […]

Lowest wage growth in 16 years

Average monthly wages grew by just 1.6 percent in September, the last month for which data was collected and analyzed by state statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway). It was the smallest increase registered so far in the 2000s, reported news bureau NTB. Average monthly pay in all sectors nationwide was set at NOK 43,300 (USD 5,280), […]

Immigration tests the welfare state

Norway has not succeeded in ushering refugees and many other immigrants into the workforce, notes the leader of a commission that’s been studying the consequences of immigration. In the long run, immigration can thus challenge the country’s carefully crafted welfare state, according to Professor Grete Brochmann, who handed her commission’s latest report to the government this […]

Stocks up, trade down with Trump

The so-called “Trump effect” is boosting some businesses in Norway, but troubling those involved in international trade who rely on long-term export income. The Oslo Stock Exchange has jumped since US real estate tycoon and showman Donald Trump became president, but his protectionist attitudes are also fueling the most trade uncertainty in years. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reports that […]