Norway’s economy up 1.1 percent in first quarter

Norway's economy grew by 1.1 percent in the first quarter 2012 on the back of a strong performance by manufacturing and industrial services, according to new official statistics published on Tuesday.

The Statistics Norway figures show that Norway's economic growth is accelerating, up from a growth rate of 0.8 percent in the previous two quarters, according to seasonally-adjusted national accounts. 

Statistics Norway also revised up the figure for the fourth quarter of 2011 to 0.8 percent from the 0.6 percent given in February.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had pencilled in a figure of 0.9 percent for the first quarter of 2012.
Goods-producing industries excluding manufacturing grew by 4.8 percent in the quarter and accounted for almost half the total GDP increase. 
A rainy autumn and relatively warm start to the winter generated high water reservoir levels, boosting electricity production and contributing a further 0.2 percentage points of the GDP growth. 
The growth figures strip out the volatile oil and shipping sectors, which if included give 1.4 percent growth in the first quarter.
Household consumption expenditure grew by 1.3 percent in the first quarter with a sharp increase of 1.9 percent in goods consumption attributed to food, clothing and electricity. Services grew by 0.5 percent on the back of growth in tourism-related services.
Employment levels rose by 0.7 percent, equating to around 20,000 people spread across the construction, wholesale and retail trade sectors. Total hours worked increased by 0.8 percent during the quarter.

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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

Find out what's going on in Norway on Wednesday with The Local's short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Trondheim harbour. Photo by Carlo Alberto Burato on Unsplash

Norway passes 2 million vaccines administered
Norway has now administered more than 2 million vaccines in total, health authorities have announced.

According to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the Nordic country passed the landmark on Tuesday evening.

Since the first vaccine dose was given on December 27th, 2020, Norway has administered 2,019,546 doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

READ MORE: Norway to offer everyone second Covid-19 vaccine by end of August

So far, 1,503,794 people have received their first dose, and 515,752 people have received their second dose.

“I want to say a big thank you to all those who are out in the municipalities and who ensure such good progress is being made. I am delighted that the vaccination program in Norway continues at a good pace,” Health Minister, Bent Høie, told news agency NTB.

Number of gambling addicts seeking help during the pandemic rises sharply
The number of people who contacted Gambling Addiction Norway for the first time rose sharply in 2020.

792 people contacted Gambling Addiction Norway compared to 436 the year before, an increase of 82 percent.

Furthermore, the organisation says that numbers this year compare similarly with last year.

“We have never such high numbers before,” Lill-Tove Bergmo, leader of the organisation.

Current Coronavirus restrictions in Oslo extended until end of May
Oslo’s local Covid-19 restrictions will not be relaxed until May 27th t at the earliest.

Next week, the city council will decide whether the city will have more measures lifted at the end of May.

The city has adopted a phased approach to the second step of its five-step plan to reopen.

READ MORE: Oslo relaxes Covid restrictions with shops and malls to reopen 

The next set of measures that will be lifted will see bar’s and restaurants reopen and serve alcohol, along with gyms reopening.

“I understand that the hospitality industry and owners and users of gyms are getting impatient. The first part of step two of the reopening plan seems to have gone well, but we must still be careful. If infections stay low, then it should be possible to open restaurants, gyms, museums and more before may is over,” the city’s mayor, Raymond Johansen, said.

Decline in Norwegian economy in the first quarter
GDP for mainland Norway fell by one percent in the first quarter, according to seasonally adjusted figures.

There was an economic decline in each of the first three months of the year due to increased coronavirus infections and stricter infection control measures that sure retail and hospitality close in parts of the country.

READ MORE: Explained: What Norway’s revised budget means for you 

Total GDP, which accounts for offshore oil and gas extraction, and foreign shipping, fell by 0.6 percent.

Mainland Norway’s GDP was two percent lower in March 2021 compared to when the pandemic began.

473 new Covid-19 infections recorded
On Tuesday, 473 coronavirus infections were registered, a decrease of 36 on the seven-day average.

In Oslo, 86 cases were recorded on Tuesday, 23 less than the seven-day average.

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 0.7. This means that the pandemic is receding in Norway as for every ten people that are infected, they will, on average, only infect another seven people.

Total number of Covid-19 cases. Source: NIPH