Slow start to shopping season

Norway’s Christmas shopping season got off to a slow start, reports retail trade association Virke. Total sales during the traditional kick-off week at the end of November were down 4.2 percent compared to the same week last year. Credit card use increased, adding to concerns over Norwegians’ rising consumer debt level. Norwegians have long had […]

Norway to crack down on Airbnb

The Norwegian government is poised to tighten and clarify regulations for short-term rental of residential property, in new legislation sent to Parliament on Friday. The goal is to crack down on what government minister Monica Mæland calls the “pure hotel operations” that have sprung up since online accommodation service Airbnb entered the market. The main […]

Bergen is most future-oriented

Norway’s West Coast city of Bergen has preserved its history but also is best equipped to tackle the future, according to a survey of the country’s 71 largest cities. Bergen tops the list, followed by Bryne farther south in Rogaland, and Kongsberg, which has been attracting new businesses for years. The survey, conducted by consulting […]

Housing prices keep sliding

Norway’s real estate brokers’ organization (Eiendom Norge) reported another price decline in the housing market on Wednesday, with figures showing prices to be down another 1.5 percent on average in November. It was even weaker than normal for the month, but widely viewed as another correction after years of price hikes. The brokers stressed that […]

Electric ‘city cars’ getting ready to roll

Scores of identical small electric cars have been neatly parked for the past week or so on property owned by state railway NSB in Oslo. They’re ready to be shared among Oslo residents who’ll soon be able to borrow them when needed, as NSB breaks into a new market that can compete with taxis and discourage […]

Minister gets tough on grocery chains

The Norwegian government is finally cracking down on grocery retailers and wholesalers who dominate the market and thus, it’s believed, limit competition. Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, the government minister in charge of business and trade, formally presented 39 measures to Parliament on Friday aimed at making sure the dominant players comply with competition law. Isaksen’s “Report […]

Seafood sellers wouldn’t shirk Saudis

Norway has officially banned arms sales to Saudi Arabia, following the recent horrific murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, but seafood sales don’t seem to be a problem. Norway’s seafood promotion council was in Riyadh this week, despite all the controversy around the Saudi crown prince who’s widely believed to […]

‘Krone’ weakens on a lower oil price

It cost more than NOK 8.60 to buy one US dollar on Tuesday, after the Norwegian currency weakened once again. Low oil prices are to blame, along with international unrest in general. “I’m not surprised the krone is where it’s at, in light of the oil price and risk aversion in the market,” Nils Kristian […]

Innovation chief cleared, but quits

Anita Krohn Traaseth has been cleared of wrongdoing in her job as chief of state development agency Innovation Norway. She nonetheless decided to quit last week, claiming that five years in the job was enough. Traaseth’s resignation came just a week after an external audit conducted by consulting firm Deloitte concluded that Traaseth didn’t break […]

Immigrant jobless rate declines

The unemployment rate for immigrants in Norway declined last month, but remains three times as high as for Norwegians. State statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) put it at 5.9 percent, compared to just 1.7 percent for the rest of the population. News bureau NTB reported that overall unemployment declined by 0.3 percentage points from the […]