'One in three' Norwegian homes worse off than at start of 2022

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'One in three' Norwegian homes worse off than at start of 2022
An increasing number of Norwegian households are struggling with living costs. Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

The proportion of households in Norway that are struggling to make ends meet is increasing, according to new analysis.


In a new report, analysis institute Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) at Oslo Metropolitan University concludes that one in three homes in Norway have worse finances now than they did in January this year.

The ability to pay bills, interests and loan repayments are meanwhile cited as a problem for one in four of all households.

“We are in an expensive time, which has been building up since August last year and got stronger during the winter. We are now talking about higher prices for energy, fuel, food and higher interest,” researcher Christian Poppe told broadcaster NRK.


“The sum of this has impacts unequally and some people are hit extra hard,” he said.

Two thirds of people who spoke to researchers for the report said that they had been forced to rein in spending due to higher living costs.

Cutbacks reported include reduced use of electricity, less car use and less social activity.

21 percent said that they had reduced their food budget to make ends meet, a number that increases to 60 percent amongst those who said they had been hardest-hit.

“There are isolated warning signs in this report and the proportion of people saying they have to save on their food budget is high,” Poppe told NRK.

“There is a limit to how little you can spend on food and in some cases people already don’t have enough money for food,” he said.

Researchers spoke to a representative selection of Norway’s 2.1 million households to produce the report, which shows a significant increase in economic stress at homes compared to a similar study from July 2021.

66 percent said they are finding it difficult to pay energy bills, with those in the south of Norway more severely affected than those in the north.

Energy prices in southern Norway have been up to 131 times higher than those in the south in recent weeks, according to Nordpool figures.

The consumer price index, a measure of the cost to households of everyday goods, has increased by 6.3 percent since last summer, NRK writes.



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