• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Soaring oil prices swell Norway's surplus

AFP · 15 May 2012, 16:26

Published: 15 May 2012 16:26 GMT+02:00

"Economic activity in Norway has held up well in 2012, despite the global economic slowdown," Finance Minister Sigbjørn Johnsen said in a statement.

In its revised budget, Norway's left-leaning government therefore adjusted upwards its anticipated surplus for the year, including oil and gas revenues, by nearly 36 billion kroner ($6.1 billion) to a total of 381.3 billion kroner.

Not counting its oil and gas sector, the country's budget deficit for 2012 was now seen slipping to 112 billion kroner, from a previously anticipated 122.2 billion.

The finance ministry explained the adjustments by soaring oil prices, as well as higher-than-expected tax revenues and lower-than-expected expenditures.

To avoid an overheating of its economy, which in turn could push up the value of the krone to the detriment of Norwegian industries, the ministry prescribed drawing less than the approved amount from Norway's so-called oil fund.

The fund -- one of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in the world -- contains all state revenues from the country's oil and gas sector and was at the end of 2011 valued at 3,971 billion kroner.

Norway has set a 4-percent limit on the amount that can be tapped from the fund each year to balance its budget.

The finance ministry said on Tuesday that due to rising oil prices it in 2012 would need to draw just 116 billion kroner from the fund, which is 16 billion below the 4-percent path and 6 billion less than the approved amount last year.

Story continues below…

Not counting the oil and gas sector, Norway's economy is now expected to grow 2.7 percent this year, down from the estimate in the autumn budget of 3.1 percent.

"Next year a further pick-up is expected to 3.0 percent," the finance ministry said, adding that Norway's unemployment was expected to remain low, at 3.25 percent this year.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Oslo court denies Snowden no-extradition pledge
When Snowden was awarded Norway's Bjørnsonprisen last year, he appeared via satellite. Photo: Svein Ove Ekornesvåg / NTB scanpix

The whistleblower has no assurances that he would not be extradited to the US should he come to Norway to collect an award.

Norway to go after ‘asylum cheats’
Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Integration minister vows to revoke permits from those "who have fooled us".

Taking the environmental bite out of salmon fishing
Henri Lapeyrere, the CEO of Leroy France, points to the nets of Leroy's aquaculture salmon farm in Hitra Bay, west of Trondheim. Photo: Céline Serrat/AFP/Scanpix

The Norwegian salmon industry is trying to limit its environmental harm, but there's still a long way to go.

New 'idiotic' trend feared at Norway's Trolltunga
Swedish tourist Sarah Persson said the stunt was viewed by several other climbers. Photo: Sarah Persson

A photo of a dangerous stunt at the popular tourist attraction has tour guides worried that others will follow suit.

Norwegian kids are fourth fittest in the world
Norwegian children warm up for a kids' marathon in Oslo. Photo: Berit Roald / Scanpix

Norwegian kids have some of the highest level of aerobic fitness in the world, according to a recently-released international study.

Lithuania eyes Norway air defence deal amid Russia fears
Lithuania is looking at spending as much as €100 million on the NASAMS air-defence systems. Photo: Kongsberg Defence Systems

Norwegian anti-aircraft missile systems would address the defence gap on Nato's eastern flank.

Video
Fake Norway ‘apology’ video angers Israel
The video is a fake apology from the National Theatre of Norway. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

See the video that the Israeli Foreign Ministry wants "removed from every site" on the internet.

Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Norway
Rock legend Bruce Springsteen interviewed by Fredrik Skavlan. Photo: SVT/Youtube

Rock legend Bruce Springsteen has described Donald Trump as an embarrassment to the United States.

Oslo to hit drivers’ wallets to combat air pollution
The cancel wants to raise toll rates fivefold by this winter. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

The city council will quintuple road tolls on days with high levels of air pollution.

Freed hostage back in Norway after 'year in terror'
Sekkingstad addressed the Norwegian media in Oslo on Friday. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Kjartan Sekkingstad returned to Norway on Friday after a year of captivity in the Philippines.

Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
'I am so very happy and lucky to be alive': Freed Norwegian
International
'I am so very happy and lucky to be alive': Freed Norwegian
Society
Hijab discrimination: Praise, Nazi comparisons and conspiracy theories
Facebook thanks Norway PM after censorship row
Society
Facebook thanks Norway PM after censorship row
Expats say it's not just Norway's weather that's cold
Society
Expats say Norway is a cold place (and they don't mean the weather)
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
National
323 reindeer killed by lightning in Norway
Frozen effect bringing 'too many tourists' to Norway
Travel
Frozen effect bringing 'too many tourists' to Norway
Norway's angel princess divorces novelist husband
Norway's angel princess divorces novelist husband
Norwegian motorist kills 19 reindeer in bloody collision
National
Norwegian motorist kills 19 reindeer in bloody collision
'Tick here please': Changing gender in Norway gets easier
Lifestyle
'Tick here please': Changing gender in Norway gets easier
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
National
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Education
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Norway's ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
National
Norway makes ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
International
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars
National
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars – yet
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
National
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
National
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
2,042
jobs available