“Both inflation and growth in the Norwegian economy have been slightly lower than projected. On the other hand, household debt and house prices are still rising faster than income. The key policy rate has therefore been left unchanged,” says Governor Øystein Olsen.
The key policy rate is low because inflation is low and because interest rates abroad are very low. Growth prospects for our trading partners have weakened, but global growth remains robust. Capacity utilisation in the Norwegian economy is somewhat above a normal level and unemployment is low. At the same time, there are now prospects that it will take longer for inflation to move up to the inflation target.
“The analyses suggest that the key policy rate be kept low longer than previously anticipated. The first increase in the key policy rate is now projected to take place in spring 2014,” says Governor Øystein Olsen.
At the meeting, the Executive Board decided that the key policy rate should be in the interval 1–2 percent in the period to the publication of the next Report on 20 June 2013, unless the Norwegian economy is exposed to new major shocks.
For further information, see “The Executive Board’s monetary policy decision – background and general assessment” and “The Executive Board’s assessment” in the March 2013 Monetary Policy Report with financial stability assessment.