Norway: Petroleum activities drag down overall activity
November 20, 2012
In the third quarter, total GDP fell a seasonally adjusted 0.8% over the previous period, which contrasted the 1.0% rise recorded in Q2 (previously reported: +1.5% quarter-on-quarter). The print marked, in fact, the steepest decline suffered since Q3 2010. According to the statistical institute, total GDP was dragged down by a sharp contraction in petroleum activities and ocean transport mainly due to planned maintenance, technical problems and strikes. On an annual basis, total GDP decelerated from a 4.7% rise in the second quarter to a 1.2% increase in the third, which marked the weakest expansion since Q2 2011. Meanwhile, Norway mainland's GDP - which consists of all domestic production activity except for extraction of crude oil and natural gas (including related services), pipeline and ocean transport - rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7% over the previous quarter. The reading came in slightly below the 0.8% expansion recorded in the second quarter (previously reported: +1.0% qoq) but overshot the 0.5% increase expected by the market. Compared to the same period last year, the mainland economy grew 2.6% in the second quarter, which is down from the 3.3% increase tallied in the previous period. Private consumption inched up to 0.8% growth (Q2: +0.7% qoq), while government spending decelerated markedly to a 0.2% rise (Q2: +1.2 qoq). Meanwhile, gross fixed capital investment remained broadly stable and expanded at a 0.9% pace (Q2: +1.0% qoq). Exports of goods and services deteriorated as a result of lower shipments of oil and gas, falling a seasonally adjusted 3.1% over the previous three-month period (Q2: +0.5% qoq). On the other hand, imports expanded 1.1%, following an increase of 1.4% in the second quarter. As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth fell from minus 0.2 percentage points in the second quarter to minus 1.5 percentage points in the third.