Fewer will save and pay down loans

MoneyMoney: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

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Norwegians’ desire to save and repay loans is clearly reducing, according to Finans Norge’s expectations barometer. At the same time, several are ready to make major purchases.

The survey is conducted once a quarter. The latest survey shows that Norwegian households have confidence in their own finances at the start of the new decade.

A majority of the respondents are now also positive to the country’s economy in the future.

“Risks related to international unrest and trade conflicts have subsided and Norwegian households now have a more positive view of the Norwegian economy in the future,” said CEO Idar Kreutzer of Finans Norge.

Fall in electricity prices are a factor
Many of those who believe that the economy will be better in the future also reasoned that they expect a good labour market and wage growth.

“These are signals from households that may explain an upswing in major acquisitions and somewhat lower expectations of saving and repaying loans in the future. In addition, we also believe that this may be related to expectations of unchanged key interest rates in the future,” explained Kreutzer.

He emphasized that although the willingness to save is lower than in the previous quarter, it is still at a high level.

Finans Norge also pointed out that the fall in electricity prices over the past year may have affected purchasing power and the economic future.

Greatest optimism in the southwest
The survey, conducted by Kantar TNS, provides various indicators of financial expectations. The figures are calculated by looking at the difference between the percentage of optimistic and pessimistic answers to different questions.

The main indicator, which measures all the questions, is now at 14.5. Adjusted for seasonal variations, it is virtually unchanged compared to Q4 2019.

If the answers are broken down at the regional level, it is Southwest Norway that scores the highest.

“This region had the lowest index during the fall in oil prices but now contributes the highest proportion of positives, driven by a sharp increase in petroleum investments and improvement in the labour market,” reported Finans Norge in its review of the figures.

The barometer also shows that conservative voters have more positive expectations of the economy than voters of the red-green or centre-left coalition. However, the differences between the two political blocs are reduced.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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