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Financial News: Norway Rate Hike Very Long Way Off As

Norway Rate Hike Very Long Way Off As Inflation Stays Below Target

10/11/2017 - 07:21:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - An interest rate hike in Norway are a very long way off as inflation is unlikely to meet the Norges Bank's target any time soon amid weak domestic price pressures, Stephen Brown, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Headline inflation rose to 1.6 percent in September from 1.3 percent in August, data from Statistics Norway showed on October 10.

The upward trend in inflation was partly driven by energy prices, and also due to clothing inflation.

The Norges Bank's preferred measure of inflation, CPI-ATE, which excludes energy prices and the direct effect of tax changes, increased to 1.0 percent from 0.9 percent.

Looking ahead, Capital Economics suspect that the CPI and CPI-ATE inflation might edge down in the fourth quarter.

"After all, past exchange rate movements point to lower imported goods inflation ahead," Brown pointed out.

The big picture is that, despite recent positive signs on economic growth, domestically-generated inflationary pressure is fairly weak.

The economist expects inflation to recover only slowly, remaining between 1.5 percent and 2.0 percent over the next few years - well below the bank's target of 2.5 percent.

"Given the positive economic outlook, policymakers are unlikely to respond by loosening policy any further," Brown predicted.

"Instead, we think that the Norges Bank will keep monetary policy unchanged until 2020."

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