Interest rates to stay steady

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Norway’s central bank (Norges Bank) will leave interest rates unchanged at 1.5 percent, and does not anticipate a rate rise until the summer of 2015. Governor Øystein Olsen told a press conference on Thursday the Norwegian economy had developed largely as expected, except for a few areas of weaker growth.

“The analysis suggests that the key interest rate will stay at today’s level until the summer of 2015, and that it will thereafter increase gradually,” said Olsen. “The forecast is broadly unchanged from December.”

The rate is expected to hit 1.51 percent in December before increasing to 1.69 percent next June, eventually reaching 2.22 percent by December 2016.

The bank said moderate economic growth was continuing internationally, reported newspaper DagensNæringsliv (DN). While growth in Norway was largely in line with predictions, it was weaker than expected in petroleum and housing investment.

Norway’s currency, the kroner, was also weaker than anticipated, while wage growth was higher. “There are prospects that consumer price inflation will be slightly higher than previously predicted,” said the central bank in a press release.

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