Norway to use oil wealth to fight financial crisis

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Norway will spend more of its vast oil wealth next year to fight the economic crisis, part of a package of new stimulus measures to be revealed on Jan. 26, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said Friday.

Norway is a major oil exporter and has put aside more than 2 trillion kroner ($290 billion) in a fund for foreign investment. Normally, the government limits spending of oil wealth to 4 percent of the fund's total value — the expected annual return on investment — to not deplete the fund.

But Stoltenberg said it can spend more in troubled economic times and pledged new economic stimulus measures.

"These will include an even greater increase in funding for public works and construction, and maintenance," he said at his regular half-year news conference. The Labor Party leader said that will boost the economy and jobs market while completing badly needed projects, such as road and school improvements.

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