Housing sales and prices set records

Even in the midst of the Corona crisis, or perhaps because of it, Norwegians bought and sold homes at levels that set new records for both prices and sales volume last year. Never before have so many residences changed hands, even in the usually quiet month of December. Year-end figures from the national real estate […]

Interest rates remain at 0%

Norway’s central bank decided on Thursday to keep its key policy rate at its record low of 0.0 percent, but noted that interest rates may rise sooner than previously predicted after vaccination programs get underway. The country’s currency, meanwhile, was ending the week much stronger than when it began. Norges Bank Governor Øystein Olsen thinks […]

Long-term jobless ‘alarmingly high’

Closed restaurants and empty streets have added to the November gloom, and sent Norway’s numbers of “long-term unemployed” up nearly 72 percent so far this year. The increase is blamed almost entirely on the Corona crisis that’s now turning temporary layoffs into terminations. “Long-term unemployment is now at an alarmingly high level,” says Hans Christian […]

Economists hail restrictions now

Several Norwegian economists have come out strongly in favour of the stricter Corona containment measures now in effect nationwide, no matter how painful they are for many businesses and industries. They think it’s better to take economic losses now, instead of even bigger losses and more bankruptcies later. “The authorities shouldn’t have caved in as […]

Stock market, oil price, krone all jump on vaccine news

The Oslo Stock Exchange joined markets all over the world in jumping on Monday afternoon, after “promising” news about the development of a Corona virus vaccine. Pfizer of the US and BioNTech of Germany reported good results from their latest phase of testing that indicates the vaccine can be more than 90 percent effective. “This […]

Authority wants to limit borrowing

Norway’s financial authority (Finanstilsynet) wants to tighten lending requirements, part of an effort to curb the country’s ever-rising debt levels. It’s proposing a lower limit on how much private individuals can borrow, and tightening lenders’ latitude for making exceptions. With interest rates historically low, based on the central bank’s key policy rate of 0.0 percent, it’s […]

Interest rates tied to the infection rate

Norway’s central bank (Norges Bank), worried about rising Corona infection rates, opted to keep its key policy rate at zero on Thursday. That prompted the country’s currency to lose even more of its recent strength, while the bank board thinks housing prices will rise even higher than earlier expected. The decision by the central bank’s Monetary Policy […]

More Corona aid for a ‘fragile’ economy

NEWS ANALYSIS: Government ministers handed out more packages of Corona crisis aid this week, in an effort to avoid bankruptcies and preserve jobs. The need for all the emergency funding and financial support shows just how fragile the Norwegian economy has become.  Rising Corona infection rates lately have put a new chill on Norway’s traditionally […]

‘Krone’ sinks along with oil business

Norway’s currency has weakened once again this week, in line with the North Sea oil price that still fuels the country’s economy. What’s more economically worrisome is the gloomy outlook for the entire offshore industry, as oil and gas producers cut back on staffing and face legal challenges for failing to take climate issues seriously […]

More companies report heavy losses

Norwegian newspapers are suddenly full of stories about losses being posted by local companies in the second quarter and first half of the year. The Corona crisis is clearly being registered on lots of bottom lines. Just a day after Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) reported enormous losses, leading salmon producer Mowi (formerly Marine Harvest), for example, […]