One farmed Norwegian salmon weighing around 4.5 kilos was worth more than a barrel of Norway’s North Sea crude oil at the end of this week, after oil prices fell once again. No worries, claims one local economist: Norway’s economy, he claims, can tolerate oil prices down to zero, at least for a while.
Harald Magnus Andreassen, chief economist at Swedbank and an active participant in economic debate in Norway, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Friday that Norwegian leaders’ decision in the 1990s to stash away the vast majority of the country’s oil revenues in a sovereign wealth fund known as the “oil fund” will help save the economy, as will other export industries like seafood.
Oil prices, which fell under USD 30 for the first time in more than a decade this week, are now well under the level used in Norway’s state budget for 2016. Andreassen isn’t losing any sleep over that, and suggests there’s no reason for panic.