I'm Rich! I'm Rich!But the price of gasoline remains high:
Norwegians become richer
Norwegians have more money to spend. The average income increased by 23 per cent from 1996 to 2003. Luxury goods have become everyday commodities, the newspaper Vaart Land writes. Stores selling consumer electronics tell the newspaper that the sale of LCD and plasma televisions sets is beyond their wildest dreams, with a fivefold increase in sales in the past year alone. Car dealers report that it has become more socially acceptable to by and drive an expensive automobile. The travel industry reports an annual growth of 40 to 60 per cent over the past few years. We want to travel farther and stay at the better hotels. At the same time, fewer people have problems meeting their payments, according to the National Institute for Consumer Research.
Oil prices fuel a 'new reality'
High oil prices continued to drive the Oslo Stock Exchange to new heights on Monday, and analysts are looking ahead. Some say that if prices stay over USD 50 a barrel for the long term, Norway will literally be awash in unexpected riches, and economic fundamentals will change forever. A boom in oil revenues flowing into the country can, for example, make political quarrels over pension plans moot, leave Norway with no economic incentive to join the European Union, and literally provide "money for everything."