Oil slump hits Norway consumer confidence

Oil slump hits Norway consumer confidence
This is the site of the proposed onshore receiving terminal for oil from Statoil's Johan Castberg field. The company has put the project on hold pending a rebound in the oil price. Photo: Jan-Morten B
Norwegians expect the country to struggle financially this year according to the latest survey by Finance Norway, as the slump in the oil price brings consumer confidence to its lowest point since the 2008 financial crisis.
The proportion of Norwegians describing themselves as ‘pessimistic’ about the coming year had increased from 20 percent last autumn to 40 percent today, in the latest quarterly Expectation Survey carried out TNS Gallup and Finance Norway. 
The proportion of ‘optimists’ meanwhile had fallen from 20 percent to 16 percent. 
“The sharp fall in oil prices has obviously made a strong impression on people,”  Idar Kreutzer, Finance Norway’s chief executive, said in a statement. 
However, most Norwegians did not expect their own personal financial situation to worsen, the survey revealed. 
"Many have used, and will to use, the big drop in interest rates as an opportunity to reduce their debt and thereby also their own vulnerability," he said.