Norwegians anticipate a brighter economy

Idar Kreutzer, CEO. Finance NorwayOslo. Idar Kreutzer, CEO. Finance Norway.Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix

Consumers think the bottom has been reached and see a brighter future ahead,  Finance Norway concludes. But still  pessimism prevails in an Expectation barometer that the organization commissioned.

For the fifth consecutive quarter, the main indicator  for anticipation was negative. This involves a predominance of pessimistic answers to the five questions in the survey about the prospects for their own and the Norwegian economy.

The development of the second quarter is positive, maintains CEO Idar Kreutzer in Finance Norway.

– The result of the expectation barometer is an early indication of a shift in sentiment, he said.

An improvement

The Expectation Survey is a quarterly survey, based on about 1,000 telephone interviews. A representative sample of the population are asked questions concerning their own and the country’s economy.

The main indicator has only sporadicly been negative since the barometer began in 1992. A score of -4.1 in the third quarter of this year is the most encouraging since the second quarter last year.

– We see a predominance of positive responses in most age groups in the various regions and in different income groups. Even in our worst-affected region, Southern and Western Norway, we have noted a sharp increase in belief in the future, says Kreutzer.

One year ago, Norwegian consumers were more  pessimistic about the future than other EU consumers. This was a first since the barometer was started in 1992, but now Norwegian consumers are more optimistic than the EU average again.

Skeptical elderly

If we break down the age groups, it is only the age group 60 years and over that are more pessimistic than optimistic.

– It may be that this group has particular challenges in the labour market. They also have the biggest savings capital, and it is difficult to get good returns in this low interest rate climate, says Kreutzer.

The prospect of continued low interest rates is one of the reasons that young people look brighter on their financial future, he believes.

Developments in unemployment also gives grounds for cautious optimism, believes Finance Norway. In the recent months there has been a decline in the number of total numbers unemployed. Although the number of those unemployed and in training schemes now make up 3.6 percent of the workforce,  this is better than expected although up from 3.4 percent in July 20 15.

– The development in unemployment has probably been better than many had feared, which could be one of the reasons for the results, says Kreutzer.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today