The weather has turned miserable: cold, dark and wet. However, Norwegians reading today's Aftenposten might be able to overlook this meteorological gloom in the knowledge that, economically, their lives are looking brighter than most. According to the OECD, Aftenposten states that, based on calculations of prices compared to incomes, Norwegians have the highest spending power compared to the rest of the world's wealthy nations. And it's continuing to increase which is certainly not the case for places like the US, Japan and Germany, where consumers are finding that their salaries are not keeping pace with price increases. I'm no economist, but I believe that this means that Norwegians are flusher with cash than inhabitants of many other developed nations, and are expected to continue to be so, because Norwegian salary rises are outstripping price hikes.
I often wonder why I'm the only one almost puking at the prices here with items such as baby equipment requiring shoppers to fork out at least twice as much as they would for the same item in Ireland. It's because the lady who sells the 60 Nok baby harness (to keep the little man from climbing out of his 400 Nok pram which he sleeps in at kindergarden) charges me 200 Nok for it, so that she can take home a very nice salary. Well, I'm delighted that she has plenty of kroner jangling around in her packet to pay for ever-increasing supermarket bills. Really, I am.
I wish I could say the same about the miserable weather.