Norway Central Bank Lifts Key Rate; Signals Another Hike In June

RTTNews | 443 days ago
Norway Central Bank Lifts Key Rate; Signals Another Hike In June

(RTTNews) - Norway's central bank decided to lift the benchmark rate by a quarter-point on Thursday and hinted at another increase in June as the weaker krone pushed up import price inflation.

The Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Committee of Norges Bank unanimously decided to lift the policy rate to 3.25 percent from 3.00 percent.

The previous change in the policy rate was a quarter point-hike in March.

Based on the current assessment of the outlook and balance of risks, the policy rate will most likely be raised again in June, the bank said in a statement.

"If the krone remains weaker than projected or pressures in the economy persist, a higher policy rate than envisaged earlier may be needed", Governor Ida Wolden Bache said.

The committee noted that annual wage growth is likely to be higher than it projected earlier in March. The tight labor market has led to a pick-up in wage growth.

"Higher wage growth and the krone depreciation will contribute to keeping inflation elevated ahead," the banker said.

The banker noted that consumer price inflation remained markedly above the 2 percent target. High energy prices were a key driver of inflation. The policy rate is being set with the aim of bringing inflation back to the target.

At the same time, a slowdown in economic growth needs to be averted, she said. The full effects of the past rate hikes are yet to be seen.

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