Recession reaches oil-rich Norway

The government's use of Norway's vast oil wealth has helped cushion the impact of economic upheaval in the Nordic country.

The recession has hit oil rich Norway, long after the global finance crisis sent many other countries' economies into a slump, the government agency Statistics Norway said Tuesday. The country is now in a recession, defined as a shrinking of the national economy two quarters in a row. The agency said a 0.8 percent decline in gross domestic product in the fourth quarter was followed by a 1% decline in the first quarter. The government's use of Norway's vast oil wealth has helped cushion the impact of economic upheaval in the Nordic country, where unemployment remained a low 2.8% last month but was rising fast. It also noted a decline in traditional exports, which exclude oil, of 7.3% in the first quarter. Counting oil, the decline was 4.7%. Imports also fell 5.9% from the fourth to the first quarter.