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MNI (London)
     LONDON (MNI) - The Norges Bank has kept its key policy rate unchanged at
0.50%, assessing with the Executive Board now assessing rates will most likely
be hiked in 'September 2018'.
     The full text of the Norges Bank statement follows.
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     KEY POLICY RATE UNCHANGED AT 0.5 PERCENT 
     Norges Bank's Executive Board has decided to keep the key policy rate
unchanged at 0.50 percent.
     The upturn in the Norwegian economy is continuing. Capacity utilisation
appears to be close to a normal level and is likely rising faster than expected
earlier. Underlying inflation is lower than the inflation target, but rising
capacity utilisation implies an increase in price and wage inflation further
out.
     Monetary policy is expansionary. The outlook for the Norwegian economy
suggests that it will soon be appropriate to raise the key policy rate.
Uncertainty surrounding the effects of a higher interest rate suggests a
cautious approach. As in March, the overall outlook and the balance of risks
imply a gradual rate rise in the years ahead.
     "The Executive Board's current assessment of the outlook and balance of
risks suggests that the key policy rate will most likely be raised in September
2018", says Governor Oystein Olsen.
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
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MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com