Norway: Norges Bank stays put
March 27, 2014
At its 27 March monetary policy meeting, Norges Bank (NB) decided to leave the sight deposit rate unchanged at 1.50%. The Bank's decision was on par with market expectations. The Central Bank has left the key monetary policy rate unchanged since April 2012. In its statement, the Central Bank pointed out that global economic activity continued to show signs of improvement at the outset of the year. Domestically, NB stated that economic growth performed as it had projected in its December's monetary policy report. Moreover, monetary authorities stressed that growth prospects for the coming months deteriorated due to weaker growth in both petroleum and housing investment. Regarding price developments, the Central Bank said that inflation is likely to increase slightly in the months ahead. Central Bank Governor Oystein Olsen concluded that, “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.” FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the sight deposit rate to remain stable through the end of this year, resulting in an average of 1.50%. In 2014, the panel sees the key policy rate rising to 1.72%.