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MNI NORGES WATCH: December Hike Left In Balance

(MNI) London
(MNI) London

Norges Bank kept its policy rate unchanged at 4.25 percent at its November meeting and said it may not go ahead with the December hike it had previously signalled.

The central bank's September collective rate path had implied a rate increase for December and there were no new projections in November, an interim meeting. But the brief economic analysis accompanying the decision highlighted that the most recent inflation data was well below expectations and noted signs of stalling growth.

“Based on the Committee’s current assessment of the outlook, the policy rate will likely be raised in December ... [but] if the Committee becomes more assured that underlying inflation is on the decline, the policy rate may be kept on hold," said Governor Ida Wolden Bache, after the Bank's Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Committee said that while inflation was still well above the 2% target it was heading lower and price pressures were easing.


The analysis cited evidence of economic weakness, with falling household consumption, low housing construction, a decline in job advertisements and lower-than-expected employment. Longer-term market rates have risen around the world, weighing further on activity as markets price in high-for-long rates, it said.

On the other side of the scales, Norges Bank noted a weaker-than-expected krone, although as Norway's exchange rate tends to be driven in part by risk appetite and the oil price, its future direction is unclear, with oil prices curves moving higher.

MNI London Bureau | +44 203-586-2223 |
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-586-2223 |

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