OSLO (AFP) – Norway’s trade surplus leapt by an annualized 44.5 percent in May in the wake of bigger oil exports and the record sale of Edvar Munch’s iconic painting The Scream, official data showed on Friday.
The Norwegian Statistics Bureau SSB said the non-European Union country recorded a sharply higher trade surplus of 43.2 billion kroner (5.8 billion euros, $7.1 billion) despite falling crude oil prices.
Exports were 15.5 percent higher in value owing to greater volumes of oil pumped from the country’s huge North Sea reserves, while imports slipped by a modest 0.9 percent, the SSB data showed.
Exports got another boost from the record sale of The Scream in New York on May 3 for $119.9 million.
The painting is one of four versions of a work whose nightmarish central figure and lurid, swirling colors symbolized the existential angst and despair of the modern age.
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