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Norway Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      Norway has a mixed economy involving a combination of free market activity and government intervention. The government controls key areas, such as the vital petroleum sector (through large-scale state enterprises) and extensively subsidizes agriculture, fishing, and areas with sparse resources. Norway also maintains an extensive welfare system that helps propel public sector expenditures to slightly more than 50% of the GDP and results in one of the highest average tax burdens in the world (54%). A small country with a high dependence on international trade, Norway is basically an exporter of raw materials and semiprocessed goods, with an abundance of small- and medium-sized firms, and is ranked among the major shipping nations. The country is richly endowed with natural resources - petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals - and is highly dependent on its oil sector to keep its economy afloat. Norway imports more than half its food needs. Although one of the government's main priorities is to reduce this dependency, this situation is not likely to improve for years to come. The government also hopes to reduce unemployment and strengthen and diversify the economy through tax reform and a series of expansionary budgets. The budget deficit is expected to hit a record 8% of GDP because of welfare spending and bail-outs of the banking system. Unemployment is currently running at 8.4% - including those in job programs - because of the weakness of the economy outside the oil sector. Economic growth, only 1.6% in 1993, moved up to 5.5% in 1994. Oslo opted to stay out of the EU during a referendum in November 1994.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $95.7 billion (1994 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      5.5% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $22,170 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      1.3% (1994 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:
      8.4% (including people in job-training programs; 1994 est.)

    • Budget:

        $50.9 billion

        $55.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994 est.)

    • Exports:
      $36.6 billion (f.o.b., 1994)

        petroleum and petroleum products 40%, metals and products 10.6%, fish and fish products 6.9%, chemicals 6.4%, natural gas 6.0%, ships 5.4%

        EC 66.3%, Nordic countries 16.3%, developing countries 8.4%, US 6.0%, Japan 1.8% (1993)

    • Imports:
      $29.3 billion (c.i.f., 1994)

        machinery and equipment 38.9%, chemicals and other industrial inputs 26.6%, manufactured consumer goods 17.8%, foodstuffs 6.4%

        EC 48.6%, Nordic countries 25.1%, developing countries 9.6%, US 8.1%, Japan 8.0% (1993)

    • External debt:

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate 4.6% (1994); accounts for 14% of GDP

    • Electricity:

        27,280,000 kW

        118 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        23,735 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      petroleum and gas, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles, fishing

    • Agriculture:
      accounts for 3% of GDP and about 6% of labor force; among world's top 10 fishing nations; livestock output exceeds value of crops; fish catch of 1.76 million metric tons in 1989

    • Illicit drugs:
      transshipment point for drugs shipped via the CIS and Baltic states for the European market

    • Economic aid:

        ODA and OOF commitments (1970-89), $4.4 billion

    • Currency:
      1 Norwegian krone (NKr) = 100 oere

    • Exchange rates:
      Norwegian kroner (NKr) per US$1 - 6.7014 (January 1995), 7.0469 (1994), 7.0941 (1993), 6.2145 (1992), 6.4829 (1991), 6.2597 (1990)

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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