Improved results in 2009

Audited figures for 2009 show a considerable strengthening of the municipalities’ finances compared to 2008. Net operating surplus for the municipalities is estimated at 2.7 percent in 2009.

The municipalities’ gross operating surplus in 2009 was about NOK 3.3 billion. The figures show that the municipalities’ gross operating revenue was approximately NOK 287 billion in 2009, whereas the gross operating expenditure was about NOK 284 billion. The gross surplus is 1.2 per cent of the gross revenues in 2008 compared to 0.4 per cent in 2008. This is an indication that the gross revenue has increased more than the gross expenditure.

The net operating surplus for the Norwegian municipalities increased from NOK 76 million in 2008 to almost NOK 8 billion in 2009. The net operating surplus is estimated at 2.8 per cent of the gross operating revenues, compared with 0 per cent in 2008. This was the lowest result ever registered since it became possible to calculate the gross operating surplus in 1991. It was the first time that a negative net operating surplus has been registered at a national level.

Gross operating surplus is defined as gross operating revenues minus gross operating expenditures, which include write-offs. Net operating surplus includes the effect of interest and repayment of debts, but excludes the effect of write-offs. Net operating surplus may be allocated to reserves or used to finance investments, and it is therefore regarded to be a central indication of the financial position in the municipalities. A net operating surplus that is at least 3 per cent over a long period of time is considered to be a sign of a healthy economy.

Investing and financing

Gross investment expenditures for the municipalities were approximately NOK 37.3 billion in 2009, compared to NOK 34 billion in 2008. The audited figures show that the deficit before loans and allocations decreased by 6.5 billion compared to 2008. Anyway the deficit before loans and allocations was about NOK 13.9 billion compared to NOK 20.5 billion in 2008.

The financing of investments by loans has increased by nearly NOK 4 billion. Financing of investments by applied loans as a percentage of the gross capital expenditure was approximately 63.5 per cent in 2009, compared with 58 per cent in 2008. The municipalities withdrew NOK 8 billion of existing funds, compared to NOK 2 billion allocated to funds in 2008.

Huge increase in net interest

The municipalities’ net interest increased significantly in 2009. This is as a result of the earnings incurred from the financial investments and the higher interest levels. Municipalities must register all realised and unrealised losses resulting from financial investments in the operational accounts. The audited figures for 2008 show net interest revenue of about NOK 2.5 billion, compared with net interest expenditure of NOK 3 billion in 2008.

Consolidated accounts

Units with separate accounts and local authority partnerships made a positive contribution to the consolidated accounts, with an increase in the municipalities’ gross operating revenues of about NOK 7 billion.

The consolidated accounts show a gross operating surplus of NOK 4.4 billion in 2009 compared to NOK 1.4 billion in 2008. Units with separate accounts and local authority partnerships had a positive effect on the gross operating surplus in the consolidated accounts, with NOK 3.2 billion.

The net operating surplus for consolidated accounts was NOK 9.5 billion in 2009 compared to NOK 1.1 billion in 2008.

The gross investment expenditure of units with separate accounts and local authority partnerships was NOK 6.5 billion; an increase of NOK 1.2 billion compared to 2008.

Production of services

Administration, kindergartens, primary schools and nursing and care services are the main service areas in the municipalities. The municipalities’ expenditure on administration was NOK 19.5 billion in 2009, while expenditure for kindergartens, primary schools and care services amounted to a total of NOK 32.9, NOK 60 and NOK 74.8 billion respectively.

The figures illustrate that 88.5 per cent of children aged 1-5 years attended kindergarten in 2009, compared with 87.2 per cent in 2009.

About the statistics

Audited municipal accounting figures are based on 429 out of 430 municipalities. For the absent municipality, figures for the last reported year are used.

Consolidated accounts’ figures are based on municipal accounts and municipal units with separate accounts and inter-authority companies. The response rate for the municipality units with separate accounts was about 90 per cent in 2009. No estimates are made for the absent units.

Source: Statistics Norway

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