Oslo Børs
Benchmark index in 2012
World index in 2012 (USD)

The market and the economy in 2012

Taking the long view was by no means easy in 2012 … but it was profitable.

As in recent years, the financial markets in 2012 were characterised by political risk, marked pessimism and the occasional glint of hope and greed, and the unceasing pursuit of the next macroeconomic key figure and nervous interpretation of ambiguous indicators.

And yet again, much of the information flow could best be described as short-term noise. Most companies carried on as normal, making money and building value for their shareholders, employees and lenders. The upshot was that, taken as a whole, 2012 turned out to be a more than satisfactory year for players in most sections of the financial markets.

Even so, 2012 saw certain structural changes of interest as well as concealing some danger signals that it might be worth bearing in mind. In our assessment, the key features of the 2012 financial year were:

  • weak growth in leading Western countries produced lower interest rates.

  • Sound growth on the part of our real trade drivers made for good export conditions.

  • This combination fuelled an upturn in the stock market and a record year on the bond market.

  • The Norwegian economy was solid to the core – but was probably more oil-fuelled than most people realise.

More on the market and the economy this year.

2012 in a nutshell
OSEBX +15.4%
S&P 500 return +16.0%
MSCI World net (USD) +15.8%
3-month NIBOR from 2.89 to 1.83%
10 year Norwegian Treasury from 2.41 to 2.04%
Share turnover Oslo Børs (value) -35.2%
Brent Blend from USD 106.87 to USD 109.89
USD/NOK from 5.99 to 5.57
EUR/NOK from 7.75 to 7.34
GDP growth global 3.4%
GDP growth Norway 2.7%
GDP growth Mainland Norway 3.8%

Sources: Oslo Børs, S&P Dow Jones Indices, MSCI, Norges Bank, FactSet, IMF, SSB, Pareto. GDP growth is updated with revised estimates after the respective Pareto annual reports were published.