Norway: Total GDP rebounds on petroleum activities, mainland output slows
February 13, 2013
In the fourth quarter, total GDP rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% over the previous period. The print contrasted the 0.6% drop tallied in Q3 (previously reported: -0.8% quarter-on-quarter) but came in line with market expectations. According to the statistical institute, total GDP benefited from a strong rebound in petroleum activities and ocean transport as the effects of technical problems and strikes seen in the previous quarter faded away. On an annual basis, total GDP accelerated from a 1.5% rise in the third quarter to a 2.1% increase in the fourth. In the full year 2012, total GDP expanded 3.2%, which represented the strongest expansion observed since 2004 and matched the FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast.
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 0.3% over the previous quarter. The print marked a deceleration over the 0.8% expansion recorded in Q3 (previously reported: +0.7% qoq) and undershot the 0.5% increase expected by the market. Compared to the same period the previous year, the mainland economy grew 3.0% in the fourth quarter, which is up from the 2.8% increase tallied in the previous three-month period. In the full year 2012, mainland GDP rose 3.5%, which marked the fastest pace since 2007 and was virtually in line with the 3.4% rise expected by FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists.
Both private consumption (Q3 2012: +0.7% qoq; Q4 2012: +0.3% qoq) and government spending (Q3: +0.2% qoq; Q4: +0.1% qoq) remained supportive but moderated over the previous quarter. Meanwhile, although gross fixed capital investment slowed markedly in the same period (Q3: +2.8% qoq; Q4: +1.0% qoq), total investment benefited from higher stockpiling.
Exports of goods and services improved in the fourth quarter despite remaining in the red, falling only a seasonally adjusted 0.1% over the previous three-month period (Q3: -3.5% qoq). On the other hand, imports expanded 1.3%, contrasting a 0.2% contraction in the third quarter. As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth improved from minus 1.3 percentage points in the third quarter to minus 0.4 percentage points in the fourth.