Tax revenue boom ‘signals optimism’

Finance Minister Siv Jensen has reason to smile after a long and difficult winter: New figures show a boom in unexpected tax revenue rolling into the state treasury, much of it tied to Norway’s economic recovery from the oil price collapse. “This is another signal of optimism and brighter times,” Jensen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) […]

Oil industry drama debuts in Cannes

A new dramatic version of how Norway’s oil industry began was making its debut on Tuesday at the first Cannes International Series Festival. The new Norwegian series is the biggest TV drama ever produced in Norway, based on events that also changed the nation forever. Called Lykkeland (State of Happiness for its foreign audience), the series starts […]

Giant Statoil deals help secure jobs

Norway’s three largest offshore companies won contracts worth nearly NOK 12 billion from state oil company Statoil on Thursday that can create as many as 3,000 jobs over the next three years. The contracts are all tied to work on the next phase of development of Statoil’s huge Johan Sverdrup oil field in the North […]

Parliament scolds finance minister

Norway’s deposed justice minister wasn’t the only top politician in trouble this week. Her Progress Party boss, Finance Minister Siv Jensen, also faced official criticism from the Parliament’s disciplinary committee, over how she handled the recent crisis around state statistics bureau SSB. Members of the committee have spent several months examining the SSB case, which […]

Interest rates set to rise ‘cautiously’

Norway’s central bank announced Thursday morning that its executive board is poised to raise interest rates at the end of this summer. The bank’s key policy rate will remain at its current record-low level of 0.5 percent until then. The board of Norges Bank seemed to downplay the effects of a new government regulation on […]

Budget talks off to a ‘tough’ start

Prime Minister Erna Solberg knew this year’s state budget conference would be “tough” even without all the political conflict swirling around her. Her government can’t justify dipping into Norway’s Oil Fund any longer to grease the way for more government spending, and mostly has to “move around” the money it already has. That’s a lot, […]

Half losing faith in the welfare state

A new survey of Norwegians indicates that just over half think their country’s welfare system will worsen in the years ahead. Only 10 percent think they’ll enjoy better publicly funded welfare programs than they do now. While 51 percent of those questioned seem to be losing faith in the future of the welfare state, 32 […]

Conflict swirls at Innovation Norway

The board leader of Norway’s publicly funded business development organization Innovasjon Norge (Innovation Norway) has abruptly resigned in protest. Per Otto Dyb quit last week after alleged political meddling by Norway’s new business and trade minister, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, prevented him and the board from dealing with an alleged lack of confidence in Innovation Norway’s […]

Oil Fund gushes with new record results

Norway’s huge sovereign wealth and pension fund that’s fueled by the country’s oil revenues reported record results for last year. Commentators quickly reported that the money earned on the so-called Oil Fund amounted to more than NOK 194,000 (USD 25,000) per Norwegian. The actual returns on the fund hit 13.7 percent, according to the annual […]

Stock market slide hits the Oil Fund

Norway’s central bank (Norges Bank) once again gathered 300 of the country’s most powerful people Thursday night, to listen to its chief’s annual perspectives on the economy. Øystein Olsen warned that recent declines in stock markets around the world can weaken Norway’s enormous piggy bank known as the Oil Fund. What goes up must come […]