Home » Posts tagged 'Norway'
Tag Archives: Norway
Europe is recovering, right? Wrong. As Nigel Farage raged last night, things are not what they seem and even the IMF is now beginning to get concerned again (especially after Lagarde’s call yesterday for moar from Draghi and every other central banker). As Bloomberg’s Niraj Shah notes, it’s not just the PIIGS we have to worry about (or not), Denmark, Finland, Norway and Poland have been added to the IMF’s list of countries with the potential to destabilize the global economy.
Via Bloomberg’s Niraj Shah ( @economistniraj ),
The IMF’s decision means the four nations will be subject to mandatory financial sector assessments. The total number of countries on the list has risen to 29 from 25. The IMF’s decision may further undermine the safe-haven status of the Nordic nations, where rising household debt imposes a financial risk.
Ballooning Household Debt
Household debt and government-imposed austerity measures are deterring consumers from spending in the Nordic region. Denmark’s financial regulator is considering curbing banks’ lending policies to address the record household debt load. Danish households owe creditors 321 percent of disposable income, the OECD says. Norway’s household debt reached a record 200 percent of disposable income in 2011.
Austerity Triggered by Rising Government Debt
Finland’s debt-to-GDP ratio will almost double to 60.5 percent by 2015 from 33.9 percent in 2008, the IMF forecasts. The fund estimates the Finnish economy shrank 0.65 percent last year. Polish government debt reached 57.6 percent of GDP last year. A clause in the country’s constitution states that breaching a 55 percent ceiling triggers mandatory austerity measures.
Competitiveness at Risk
Denmark has dropped to 15th place in the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness report from third in 2008. Labor costs rose 9.1 percent between 2008 and 2012, compared with an EU average increase of 8.6 percent in the period. Norway has the highest labor costs in Europe at 48.3 euros per hour in 2012, compared with 30.4 euros in Germany. That may undermine competitiveness and the growth outlook.
Most Financially Interconnected Countries
The inclusion of three Nordic nations for mandatory assessment is the result of a new methodology by the IMF that gives more weight to financial interconnectedness. The U.K. is the most financially linked nation in the world, followed by Germany. Seven of the top 10 most interconnected financial nations are in the euro-area.
So as the world congratulates itself (most notably Ben Bernanke today), the IMF seems concerned that this could all get worse again very quickly. Think they are all too small to worry about? Remember Lehman?
Statoil might have to choose between developing properties in the Alberta oilsands and an offshore find off Newfoundland because of rising costs in the industry.
Stale Tungesvik, president of Statoil Canada, says its Norwegian parent company will decide in February which of the Canadian projects will go ahead.
“We invest more than ever, but we see that it’s much more costly to develop one barrel of oil today than it was earlier,” Tungesvik said in a briefing with reporters Monday.
He said Statoil has to prioritize which projects to develop, because the oil available is more difficult to extract.
Crude oil prices are sitting at about $100 US a barrel, but that’s the equivalent to $30 several years ago, he said.
“Today, $100 a barrel is the same as $30,” he said, adding “the easy barrels” are gone.
“When that will hit us some place in Canada, I’m not sure yet. I’m still fighting for doing both, so that’s my kind of position.But there is the bigger picture. There has to be some changes,” he said.
In August, Statoil and partner Husky Energy Inc. announced a huge offshore oil discovery about 500 kilometres northeast of St. John’s.
It’s the company’s third find in the Flemish Pass Basin in the North Atlantic and promises between 300 million and 600 million barrels of recoverable oil.
It also has plans to develop the Corner oilsands in Alberta and is mulling an expansion to its Leismer property, which began production in January 2011. Both Corner and Leismer have regulatory approval to produce up to 40,000 barrels per day.
- Hundreds flee floods in Norway (dailystar.com.lb)