Norway’s Sigbjørn Johnsen believes next year’s financial shape could prove to be relatively healthy despite current concerns.
Referring to “continuing major instability”, he nevertheless asserts, “2012 will be an incredibly exciting year.”
“I believe it could turn out to be surprisingly better than many have feared,” the minister tells Dagens Næringsliv (DN).
The Norwegian government has recently offered the International Monetary Fund (IMF) a 55 billion kroner loan (approximately EUR 7 billion) to help stabilise European and International economies.
It comes on top of last week’s EUR 150 billion lending move by Eurozone and non-European countries, as well as European Central Bank (ECB) Eurozone liquidity-boosting measures totalling EUR 489.191 billion.
According to minister Johnsen, there are signs that the markets are beginning to stabilise, with “the massive political measures that are being initiated possibly contributing to more stability and less unrest. The economic outlook, which has so far taken scaling down into consideration, could actually improve.”
At the same time, he is worried continuingly high European unemployment could cause a whole generation of youths to become disillusioned.
Moreover, whilst Norway’s economy has grown in recent quarters, and unemployment has been relatively low, the government has drawn up contingency measures should a crisis hit the country.
Talking of a three-scenario possibility, minister Johnsen says, “The first that the export industry might be hit even harder. Then, Norway’s financial services industry could be affected by events in the international finance and credit markets. Thirdly, it may harm the oil industry by way of lower prices.”
He concludes by declaring, “the government is well prepared, both regarding what could happen, and which courses of action to take,” but would not elaborate further.
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