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1/25/2006


 

Norway Economy

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). 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, with oil and gas accounting for one-third of exports. Only Saudi Arabia and Russia export more oil than Norway. Norway opted to stay out of the EU during a referendum in November 1994; nonetheless, it contributes sizably to the EU budget. The government has moved ahead with privatization. Norwegians worry about that time in the next two decades when the oil and gas will begin to run out; accordingly, Norway has been saving its oil-boosted budget surpluses in a Government Petroleum Fund, which is invested abroad and now is valued at more than $150 billion. After lackluster growth of 1% in 2002 and 0.5% in 2003, GDP growth picked up to 3.3% in 2004 and to 3.8% in 2005.

GDP (purchasing power parity): $194.7 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $264.6 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.8% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $42,400 (2005 est.)

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