Norway’s central bank board agreed once again on Thursday to leave its key policy rate at 0.5 percent. Interest rates haven’t been raised or lowered since March of last year, when there was a quarter-point reduction.
Central bank boss Øystein Olsen said there was no need for any change right now, as Norway recovers from an economic slowdown set off by the fall in oil prices.
The board sees a “continued need” for expansionary monetary policy, according to a statement from Norges Bank, and noted that interest rates abroad are low. “Capacity utilization in the Norwegian economy is below a normal level,” the board continued, “and the outlook suggests that inflation will remain below 2.5 percent in the coming years.”
With wage growth expected to remain moderate and low expected inflation rates “firmly anchored,” the board deemed it best to keep interest rates unchanged.
“The executive board’s current assessment of the outlook and balance of risks suggests that the key policy rate will remain at today’s level in the period ahead,” Olsen said.