Norges Bank Keeps Key Policy Rate Unchanged

“Consumer price inflation has been higher than projected. At the same time, the krone has depreciated. On the other hand, growth in the Norwegian economy has been lower than projected earlier. Against this background, the key policy rate was left unchanged at this meeting,” says Deputy Governor Jan F. Qvigstad.

The key policy rate is low because interest rates abroad are very low and because inflation prospects have been low for a long time. At the same time, there is a considerable spread between the key policy rate and the interest rates facing households and enterprises.

Growth has picked up and interest rate expectations have increased in many advanced countries. Output and employment prospects in Norway have weakened slightly, but capacity utilisation is expected to remain close to a normal level ahead. There are prospects that inflation will remain just below 2½ percent also in the coming years.

“The analyses imply a key policy rate at today’s level in the period to summer 2014, followed by a gradual increase to a more normal level,” says Deputy Governor Jan F. Qvigstad.

At its meeting, the Executive Board decided that the key policy rate should be in the interval 1-2 percent until the publication of the next Report on 5 December 2013, unless the Norwegian economy is exposed to new major shocks.

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