Economy For Members

Is food poverty becoming an issue in Norway?

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected] • 10 Oct, 2022 Updated Mon 10 Oct 2022 09:00 CEST
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Inflation is eating away at the finances and savings of Norwegian households. Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

Expensive electricity, soaring food prices, and increased interest rates have crippled the finances of many households in Norway. Some people are now forced to choose between food and electricity, a recent report warns.

As is the case in virtually all European countries, Norway has been hit by an inflation crisis in 2022. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 6.9 percent from September 2021 to September 2022, according to figures from Statistics Norway (SSB) published on Monday.

Food prices were the most important driver of the twelve-month CPI growth.

"Inflation continues to be high. It increased again in September, after a certain decrease in August. We have to go back to June of 1988 to find higher twelve-month price growth figures," section head Espen Kristiansen at the SSB said.

Financial struggles

According to the latest report from the National Institute for Consumer Research (Forbruksforskningsinstituttet – SIFO), there are now twice as many Norwegians struggling with their personal finances compared to last year.

More and more people have to choose between food and electricity, and according to SIFO researcher Christian Poppe, there are even signs of food poverty in the country.

As many as one in twelve Norwegians have contacted the NAV for help, skipped meals, or visited food stations.

Four out of ten Norwegians have shopped for cheaper goods and have switched to more affordable grocery stores to reduce food expenses.

Furthermore, 14 percent of Norwegians now borrow money to buy food and necessary items. Many Norwegian households are now using their savings to cover the costs of essential day-to-day consumption.

According to SIFO, 12 percent of households have already used up their savings. For many people, borrowing money to maintain necessary consumption is now their only choice.

READ ALSO: How much poverty is there in Norway?

Resorting to loans

The report from SIFO shows that people with the lowest financial security make ends meet by resorting to loans and taking on credit.

According to the latest figures from the Norwegian Debt Register, this borrowing spike is also reflected in increasing consumer debt.

However, borrowing industry expert AffiliJet Loans warns that borrowing money to maintain consumption, in the form of consumer loans or other credit, is a solution that should be carefully considered.

"A consumer loan can be a good solution if you have control over your finances and have a repayment plan ready.

"However, if you have an uncertain financial situation, you should look at other alternatives. Taking consumer loans or taking on expensive credit can increase the risk of debt collection and payment notices in the long run," AffiliJet warned in a recent press release.

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Robin-Ivan Capar 2022/10/10 09:00

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