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 […]

Norway’s Oil Fund just keeps growing

Analysts and politicians weren’t expecting much, but Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund known as the Oil Fund logged a good year last year. It ended up with a 6.9 percent return, much higher than the 2.7 percent logged in 2015, and grew in overall size by a dizzying NOK 447 billion (USD 54 billion). Some […]

Overall pay growth lowest since the war

Higher prices in Norway cut into the modest pay raises received by Norwegian workers last year. That led to a large decline in purchasing power that labour unions want to correct this year. After the last two years of economic downturn and lots of job cuts in the important oil and offshore industries, both labour […]

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 […]