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Norway: Ships and oil platforms contribute to growth in manufacturing

Staff Writer |
Norwegian manufacturing output saw a strong increase of 1.5 per cent from the third to the fourth quarter of 2018, according to seasonally-adjusted figures.

This is the third consecutive quarter with output growth in 2018. The increase in the fourth quarter is particularly related to strong activity within ships, boats and oil platforms.

The index level for Norwegian manufacturing in the fourth quarter of 2018 amounted to 118.1 (2005=100). This is the highest index level registered since the second quarter of 2015. The corresponding figure for the previous quarter was 116.3. The long term trend now shows growth throughout 2018 (see figure 1).

According to seasonally-adjusted figures, manufacturing output had a solid increase of 1.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the previous quarter. The growth follows production increase in both the second and the third quarter of 1 and 0.8 per cent respectively.

The growth in the fourth quarter is particularly related to a significant increase equivalent to 8.8 per cent within the industry ships, boats and oil platforms.

High activity within both ship building and building of oil platforms simultaneously explains this rise. In addition, fabricated metal products also contributed positively with an increase of 3.5 per cent. Thus, the the analytical grouping petroleum-related manufacturing had a strong increase of 3.3 per cent in the fourth quarter.

From 2017 to 2018, the annual change in manufacturing production saw a strong increase of 1.7 per cent, according to calendar-adjusted figures.

According to seasonally-adjusted figures, overall manufacturing output had an increase of 0.5 per from November to December 2018. The industry grouping rubber, plastic and mineral products together with fabricated metal products, and machinery and equipment experienced growth in this period.

On the other hand, basic chemicals contributed negatively with a production fall. The decline was partly due to technical shutdowns.

Estimated figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, indicate that output in manufacturing in the Euro area had a clear drop of 1.7 per cent from October to November 2018. In the same period, Norwegian manufacturing was more or less unchanged with a minor increase of 0.1 per cent.

Two of our neighboring countries, Sweden and Denmark, both saw a minor production decrease of 0.4 and 0.5 per cent respectively.

According to seasonally-adjusted figures, the total production index (PII) covering extraction, mining, manufacturing and electricity supply was unchanged from the third to fourth quarter of 2018.

Extraction of crude petroleum went down 0.6 per cent, while extraction of natural gas saw a clear drop of 10 per cent. For more details about oil and gas extraction for December 2018, see the press release from The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Within support activities for petroleum and natural gas extraction, there was a strong output increase equivalent to 4.2 per cent. In the same period, mining and quarrying also saw a clear production growth of 3.7 per cent.

Norwegian electricity supply had a production increase of 6.1 per cent from the third to the fourth quarter of 2018. This increase within electricity supply must be seen in conjunction with low production in the previous quarter due to a low level of rainfall.

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