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Financial News: Sweden Holds Key Interest Rate, QE

Sweden Holds Key Interest Rate, QE

09/07/2017 - 04:26:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Sweden's central bank decided to maintain its negative interest rate and asset purchase plan, on Thursday.

The Executive Board of the Riksbank also decided to adopt inflation measured in terms of the CPIF, that is the consumer price index with a fixed interest rate, as a formal target variable for monetary policy.

The board kept its repo rate at -0.50 percent, as widely expected. The bank said it will not raise the interest rate until the middle of 2018, which was unchanged from July assessment.

The purchases of government bonds will continue during the second half of 2017, as decided by the board in April. At the end of the year, the purchases of government bonds will total SEK 290 billion, the bank said.

The bank upgraded its growth outlook for 2017 to 3.2 percent from 2.2 percent and that for next year to 2.7 percent from 2.4 percent. However, the projection of 2019 was trimmed to 2 percent from 2.1 percent.

Riksbank lifted its inflation forecast for 2017 to 1.8 percent from 1.6 percent. Similarly, the expectation for 2018 was raised to 2.1 percent from 2 percent.

The bank said the target for monetary policy is that the annual change in the CPIF shall be 2 percent, the same level previously applied to the CPI.

"In practice, the CPIF has been the Riksbank's operational target variable for several years. Formally adopting the CPIF as target variable only confirms this practice," Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves, said.

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