Norway has taken money from its sovereign wealth fund for the first time since it was set up in 1996.
Local newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv said that 6.7 billion kroner, or $780 million, was withdrawn pay for public spending.
Norway usually pumps 200 billion kroner into the account every year. The reversal of fortunes is a signal that the low oil price is taking its toll on the country’s finances.
“The fact that oil revenues would become too small to cover the government budget deficit was assumed from the beginning,” Paal Bjornestad, a state secretary in the country’s Ministry of Finance, told the Wall Street Journal. “Due to low oil prices, this came earlier than expected, but there will still be an inflow to the fund.”
The sovereign wealth fund is also called a rainy day fund because it contains reserves of money that can be used when regular income is disruped or decreased…