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Norwegians are optimistic

The interest cuts have given Norwegians back their confidence in the Norwegian economy. Most optimistic are people between the ages of 30 and 44.

The optimism in Norwegian households has increased since November and is now on a rater high level, according to the so-called «Forventningsbarometeret» (expectations measurement) from Sparebankforeningen in February.

«Forventningsbarometeret» measures individuals’ expectations to their personal finances and the national economy.

«The increased optimism is as expected, and it is due to the record low interest rate and the improved aspects for the country’s economy,» said Arne Hyttnes, CEO at Sparebankforeningen. «This will only contribute to increased consumption, but we do not think the private consume will increase to an irresponsible level in the near future.»

Compared with the November measurements, there are particularly two things that have changed. There are an increased number of people who believe the time is right to do larger purchases for the house. In addition, the number of people who claim that Norway’s economy is doing better has increased during the last year.

«The reason for that is probably that the interest rate fall and the weakened exchange rate of the Norwegian Krone which is positive for the business and industry,» Hyttnes said.

Improvement for the labor market
Forventningsvarometeret indicates that the optimism has increased the most among people between the ages 45 and 59. This is due to two factors: the development in the labor market and on the stock exchange.

The development on the labor market indicates that the unemployment rate is on its way down. The labor market is still most difficult for the youngest job seekers. The lowest percentage of unemployment was measured in the age group 50 to 59.

«Another factor which contributes to explaining the increased optimism among the people in the age group 45 and 59 is the positive development on the stock exchange,» Hyttnes stated. «Many in that age group have invested savings at the stock exchange and the numbers are now heading in the right direction.»

However, the optimism is still the largest in the age group 30 to 44. The explanation is that these people have a tendency to have large loans and mortgages, and they will therefore benefit more from the low interest rate than other age groups.

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