Its the economy, stupid.

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.


Simply-Mel said...

Be thankful you aint living in 3rd world developing South Africa where the inflation rate is about 14% and the average pay increase is betw 5-7%!

Its damn ugly for all of us at the moment.

JEDA said...

We're a single income family, so I've never got to enjoy this Norwegian "spending power" I've heard so much about.

The grocery bills are about killing us. And I'm so sick of spending money on rain clothes I could just scream. One pair for home, one pair for school, an extra pair at Farmors because the woman won't let the children out of the house without 4 layers of clothing at least. Count on a hole turning up on some part of someone's ensemble at least once a month. And the boot straps are shot by the second month anyway--the barnehage tantes, they do not like this, they will point it out and suggest it's time for something new.

Oh, and don't forget the boots--rain boots, snow boots, boots with furry lining, boots without furry lining. There's an entire forest of rubber soled princess boots in my mudroom, and still they come home with wet socks every single day. How? Why?

Caroline said...

Hmmm hubby and I have very carefully weighed up the pro's and con's of moving back to Norway. We decided that the UK works better for us for now - with or without Gordon Brown (pref without!).

Michele said...

I saw this article, too, and thought, "What's wrong with me?" because I feel totally left out of all of this big Norwegian spending power. Like Jeda, buying food takes up way more of our monthly income than we're comfortable with. I'm already getting scared about the electricity bills this winter. Seriously, I don't know how y'all parents keep from going bankrupt. We can barely afford our two cats... But, hey, we've got a roof over our heads, food to eat, a car, and a warm fire, which is way more than a lot of people have, so I'll just shut up now. :-)

beaverboosh said...

J, don't get me started... it's is effin propaganda coupled with apathetic stupidity!

OSLO said...

Mel - I am grateful to be living in Norway and sympathise with you guys in SA.
Jeda - rain clothes - I never pay full price, as I buy the outdoor gear off-season. Two weeks ago I got new rain jkts & trousers for the girls for 200 Kr each set(half price). Can't help with the boot problem BUT have finally accepted that as my kids spend so much time in their outdoor clothes that if you work out the cost per wear, it's not much. Of course it helps if the clothes work!
Caroline- it's very interesting to hear that you would prefer being the UK right now.
Michele - grocery bills are going up noticeably, I agree, but I think it's probably a lot worse for those living in the developing world right now, as well as the US and many places in Europe(as if that's much consolation :-()
BB - you know I love to get you started....