Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Norway's Trade Surplus Falls

One of the mayor sources of global imbalances have been the windfall gains of oil exporters such as Norway. But now, with oil prices finally falling, this seems to be partially reversing. Norway's trade surplus in October 2006 was 26.8 billion Norwegan kronor (roughly $4.2 billion), a decline from 32.2 billion (roughly $5 billion) in October 2005. This is a dramatic reversal from the rapid increase previously during 2006. And so, despite October's decline, the surplus for the first ten months of the year is still much higher than during the same period in 2005, 316 billion Norwegan kronor (roughly $49 billion) versus 251.3 billion (roughly $39 billion).

The trend reversal for Norway's surplus is likely mirrored by similar declines in the trade- and current account surpluses of other oil exporters such as Russia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran. This should mean a relief in the unsustainably large U.S. deficit, and also a further increase in the surpluses of China, Japan and other East Asian oil importers.


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