Norway: The economy contracts in July due to lower private consumption
September 11, 2018
According to monthly GDP data released by Statistics Norway, the total economy contracted 0.2% in July over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, following the 1.0% expansion recorded in June. In the May–July period, the total economy expanded 0.9% over the previous rolling quarter, up from 0.4% in February–April. Meanwhile, mainland GDP—which excludes hydrocarbon extraction activity and related transport—grew 0.2% in July over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, matching June’s expansion. Mainland GDP rose 0.8% in May–July, up from 0.6% in February–April.
July’s month-on-month reading was driven a contraction in private consumption, particularly the consumption of goods. This came despite the tight labor market and high consumer confidence observed in recent months. On the other hand, public consumption increased modestly in July while fixed investment grew at a robust rate, contrasting the fall recorded in June. This was on the back of a rise in investment related to the hydrocarbon industry. In terms of the external sector, both exports and imports fell in July.
Beginning in September, Statistics Norway changed the way it reports economic growth. In addition to the normal quarterly GDP releases, Statistics Norway now publishes monthly GDP estimates, starting with that written for July. The monthly national accounts will be released 40 days after the end of the month and will be periodically published in tandem with the quarterly releases.
Commenting on this change, Ann Lisbet Brathaug, head of the National Accounts section at Statistics Norway, said:
“We strive to deliver as current and relevant statistics as possible that can show on a continuous basis the state of the economy. Statistics Norway has access to sufficiently many reliable monthly sources that it is possible to publish the national accounts each month.”
Author: Edward Gardner, Economist