Key policy rate unchanged at 1.5 percent
Norges Bank's Executive Board has decided to keep the key policy rate unchanged at 1.5 percent.
“Developments in the Norwegian economy have been broadly in line with expectations. Against this background, the key policy rate remains unchanged”, says Governor Øystein Olsen.
The moderate economic upturn internationally is continuing. In Norway, growth has been approximately as projected in the December 2013 Monetary Policy Report, but growth prospects ahead have weakened somewhat. Growth in petroleum investment and housing investment is likely to be somewhat lower than projected earlier. The krone has been slightly weaker than assumed and wage growth was higher than expected in 2013. There are prospects that consumer price inflation will be slightly higher than previously projected.
“The analyses imply an unchanged key policy rate in the period to summer 2015, followed by a gradual increase. The path for the key policy rate remains approximately unchanged from December”, says Governor Olsen.
The projections for the Norwegian economy show that growth will pick up somewhat further ahead. Capacity utilisation is expected to fall somewhat over the next year, but increase gradually thereafter towards a normal level. Inflation is projected to be somewhat lower, but close to, 2.5 percent in the years ahead.
At its meeting, the Executive Board decided that the key policy rate should be in the interval 1%–2% in the period to the publication of the next Report on 19 June 2014, unless the Norwegian economy is exposed to new major shocks.
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