Norges Bank’s Executive Board has decided to raise the policy rate by 0.25 percentage point to 1.50 percent.
Over the past year, the policy rate has been raised, and the monetary stance has become gradually less expansionary. In the Executive Board’s assessment, the overall outlook and balance of risks suggest a slightly higher policy rate. Underlying inflation is close to the inflation target. Growth in the Norwegian economy remains solid, and capacity utilisation is somewhat above a normal level. This suggests in isolation a higher policy rate. A higher policy rate may also mitigate the risk of a renewed acceleration in debt growth and house price inflation. At the same time, foreign interest rates are very low, and there is considerable uncertainty surrounding global growth prospects. This suggests a cautious approach to interest rate setting.
The policy rate forecast indicates a slightly smaller rate rise than in the June Report. Weaker growth prospects and lower interest rates abroad have contributed to the downward revision. Slightly lower inflation and a somewhat less tight domestic labour market compared with the June projections have also pulled down the rate path. A weaker-than-projected krone has in isolation pulled up the policy rate path. With a policy rate in line with the forecast, inflation is projected to remain close to the inflation target in the years ahead, at the same time as unemployment remains low. The policy rate path will be adjusted in response to a change in economic prospects or the balance of risks.
“The Executive Board’s current assessment of the outlook and balance of risks suggests that the policy rate will most likely remain at this level in the coming period,” says Governor Øystein Olsen.