November 28, 2022

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Kø utenfor en butikk på Oslo City under black friday 2020.

Everything is not completely black – expression

Let me be clear right away: Yes, we all had more tight finances during the year.

We paid more for electricity and food bills and not least interest on loans or rent. There is less money left in the account now than there was a year ago.

It doesn’t feel particularly good, and it has led to many people making financial adjustments big and small.

Some have it very bad

For some groups, who previously owned very little, the sharp rise in prices has pushed them into a more demanding living situation.

In some cases, benefits or salary are not enough. For example, NRK has told many stories of people having to cut off the electricity or eat sliced ​​bread for dinner.

Research from Oslo Met It shows that 130,000 Norwegian families are in “Serious financial difficulties,” and more people are forced to choose between paying for electricity or food.

One in twelve households stated that they either pay for meals, visit food stations, or call NAV to help pay for food.

Many need help from food centers. Here from Alta.

Photo: Jonas Løken Estenstad/NRK

The vast majority at work

However, it can be helpful to remember that these powerful stories are not representative of the majority of the population.

Because things are not all black.

Only 1.6 percent of the able-bodied people in the population are without work. This means 98.4% of us he is at work. This is a good number historically, and one of the reasons why the Norwegian economy is still under heavy pressure at the moment – helping to push prices higher.

At the moment, the growth in the economy is also quite good, although it is clear that the Norwegian economy is heading into a period of low growth. Unemployment will also rise. But, again, from a historically low level.

Very low confidence in the future

The amazing thing is that Finans Norge An unprecedented measure of low economic confidence in the future In the history of the Expectations Barometer, which dates back to 1992. The Expectations Barometer measures the expectations of Norwegian households for their own economy and that of the country.

Now that we’ve come to the final shopping week, black week, it might be worth noting that there has never been a bottom line in the Major Acquisitions index. We haven’t yet received the numbers on how shopping will go this week, but many have reported throughout the fall that the more expensive items are still very much on the shelves.

County Black Friday

This week is Black Week, when there are many shows.

Photo: Anna Rut Torressen/NRK

Chains such as Europris and others reported that the drop in sales this autumn was larger for items priced over NOK 1,000. However, the cheaper items still sell well.

Sudden change in portfolio

Perhaps the lack of faith in the economic future is also related to the fact that our economic situation has suddenly changed for the worse.

However, there may be a reason to breathe with your stomach, if you look at the numbers.

The numbers from Nordea Markets show that things are not as bad as they seem. They took, as a starting point, the example of a family with a gross income of NOK one million, and a mortgage (annual loan) of five million NOK.

Let’s look at the family’s disposable income (in 2020 kr), after the loan has been repaid, for four years:

  • January 2020: NOK 41,717
  • January 2021: NOK 44,617
  • January 2022: NOK 44,083
  • January 2023: NOK 40,935

Compared to just before the pandemic, the purchasing power of the household in question decreased by NOK 9,380 in January 2023, spread over the full year. It is less than NOK 800 per month, and less than NOK 200 per week.

Put a little bluntly, it equals four latte coffees.

coffee

Four fewer cups of coffee per week.

Photo: Kim Jansson/NRK

It was a very spacious stay

If you compare January 2021 and January 2022, the decline in purchasing power is much greater – but it has to be seen in the context of the fact that those who were in debt during the pandemic were doing very well when interest rates fell to zero.

In January 2023, the family will have less NOK 3,000 less to travel with than in January 2022.

Obviously, such a sudden change is stinging.

But the numbers show that we are not much worse off than we were before the pandemic. we suffer However, it was very painful, because it was incredibly spacious for such a short time.

Bananas in the sports shop

The change in our economy during the pandemic came almost overnight, but then it was a positive sign. People went to buy bananas to buy a tent or kayak or cabin. Many of them bought a car, many bought larger homes and took out more loans.

Hovden Cabins

Many bought a cottage during the pandemic, when interest rates fell.

Photo: Per-Kåre Sandbakk/NRK

Those who instead saved the extra money may be happy with that today.

Those who haven’t saved are going to have to make some tough adjustments — especially if you increased your debt during the pandemic. Obviously first time buyers who have bought a home in the last couple of years will take good note of this.

But if the adjustment is that you stop buying goods for NOK 1,000, but pick up a hat for NOK 500 – maybe it’s not a crisis after all.

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