Norway/Economy

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Economy - overview: The Norwegian economy is a prosperous bastion of welfare capitalism, featuring 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. The extensive welfare system helps propel public sector expenditures to more than 50% of GDP. A major shipping nation, with a high dependence on international trade, Norway is basically an exporter of raw materials and semiprocessed goods. The country is richly endowed with natural resources - petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals - and is highly dependent on its oil production and international oil prices. Only Saudi Arabia exports more oil than Norway. Norway imports more than half its food needs. Oslo opted to stay out of the European Union during a referendum in November 1994. Growth was a meager 0.8% in 1999 because of weak private consumption and anemic investment activity in the oil and other sectors. Growth should pick up in 2000, perhaps to 2.7%. Despite their high per capita income and generous welfare benefits, Norwegians worry about that time in the next two decades when the oil and gas begin to run out.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $111.3 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 0.8% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $25,100 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.2%
industry: 26.3%
services: 71.5% (1998)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 21.2% (1991)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.8% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 2.7 million (1999 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: services 74%, industry 22%, agriculture, forestry, and fishing 4% (1995)

Unemployment rate: 2.9% (1999 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $69.7 billion
expenditures: $60.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 0.7% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 115.485 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.58%
hydro: 99.16%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.26% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 111.001 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 4.4 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 8 billion kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: barley, other grains, potatoes; beef, milk; fish

Exports: $47.3 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, machinery and equipment, metals, chemicals, ships, fish

Exports - partners: European Union 77% (United Kingdom 17%, Germany 12%, Netherlands 10%, Sweden 10%, France 8%), United States 7% (1998)

Imports: $38.6 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, foodstuffs

Imports - partners: European Union 69% (Sweden 15%, Germany 14%, United Kingdom 10%, Denmark 7%), United States 7%, Japan 4% (1998)

Debt - external: $0 (Norway is a net external creditor)

Economic aid - donor: ODA, $1.4 billion (1998)

Currency: 1 Norwegian krone (NKr) = 100 oere

Exchange rates: Norwegian kroner (NKr) per US$1 - 8.0129 (January 2000), 7.7992 (1999), 7.5451 (1998), 7.0734 (1997), 6.4498 (1996), 6.3352 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year