Bourgeois voters much more positive to the economy
Norwegians who vote for the Conservatives (Høyre), Christian Democrats (KrF), the Liberals (Venstre) or the Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet), are considerably more optimistic both for the economy of Norway and for their own finances than red-green voters are.
However, the long-term trend is that all Norwegians, both bourgeois and red-green, are becoming increasingly less optimistic about the economy. After several years of strong faith in the future, The expectations barometer of Finance Norway declines for the fourth consecutive quarter.
It is especially the belief in the country’s economy that is staggering. What was clear optimism in the first quarter of 2018, is turning to pessimism in the first quarter of 2019.
“The public debate on the expected interest rate hikes and a tightened state budget has probably affected the perception of the population,” Director of Finance Norway, Idar Kreutzer, says.
The scepticism to the economic prospects of Norway is larger among those who state political affiliation with the Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet), the Centre Party (Senterpartiet), The Socialists (Sosialistisk Venstreparti) and Red (Rødt). They are also generally less satisfied with the economy last year and have less faith that it will improve for themselves or Norway as such the next year.
“There is a marked difference in the faith in the future, and that difference seems to have intensified this quarter,” Kreutzer states.
“Those who say they vote bourgeois have become more optimistic and those who say they vote red-green have become less optimistic. It seems to be connected,” he continues.
He also notes that there are also regional differences. Especially in Trøndelag and Northern Norway, there are more pessimists now.
“This may have something to do with the fact that these regions are particularly export-oriented and that people there are affected more by international instability,” Kreutzer speculates.
High housing market temperature
While the optimism for the economy is decreasing, Norwegians’ faith in the housing market is still growing.
Norsk Boligbyggerlag’s (NBBL) housing market survey rose in February to the highest level since August last year – partly due to expectations of higher housing prices, and partly due to doubts about interest rate hikes.
According to NBBL’s monthly survey, 54 per cent now expects housing prices to rise, up from 46 per cent. On the other hand, the proportion who believe in a drop in housing prices has halved from 12 per cent to 6 per cent.
At the same time, the share that believes in interest rate hikes in the next year has declined from 82 per cent to 75 per cent.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today