Border trade rises again

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More Norwegians are heading across the border to do their shopping than ever before. New figures from the state statistics bureau SSB shows that Norwegians have spent NOK 11.7 billion in Sweden during the past year, a 9 percent increase from the year before.

The number of day trips made over the border rose by 4 percent, to 6.7 million, and fully 5 percent of Norwegians’ total spending on groceries now reportedly takes place in Sweden.

That makes Swedish grocery stores the fifth-largest source of grocery products for Norwegians, according to the Norwegian trade association Virke, which also reports record turnover at the Nordby shopping center just across the southern border to Sweden at Strömstad.

“The border trade is taking business away from Norwegian stores and leading to a loss of jobs at both wholesalers and retailers,” Thomas Angell, trade director at Virke, told news bureau NTB. “Unfortunately all indications are that it will increase as long as money can be saved by shopping in Sweden.”

The statistics come just as Norwegian farmers are demanding even more protection for their higher-priced agricultural products by discouraging imports of lower-priced products and further raising their own. With controversy rising, it remains unclear whether they’ll win government support in the next state budget.

Views and News staff