Norway central bank raises key rate to fight inflation
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway’s central bank Thursday raised its key interest rate by a quarter-percentage point, saying the move was “still needed to dampen inflation.”
Norges Bank said inflation — which reached 6.5% in November — has “risen rapidly” and “is markedly above target.” The hike, which brought its key policy rate to 2.75%, was a slower pace than the U.S. Federal Reserve took Wednesday.
The Swiss National Bank, Bank of England and European Central Bank followed with the same half-point increase Thursday in a busy week for central bank action.
Central banks worldwide are making borrowing more expensive to tackle inflation that surged as the global economy bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic and then was hit by the fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine. The banks are starting to moderate as inflation shows some signs of easing.
In Norway, which is not part of the European Union, the bank noted that although the economy is faring well, it is still slowing and higher inflation is reducing people’s purchasing power.
The policy rate will most likely be raised further in the first quarter of next year, Norges Bank said.
“The forecasts for the Norwegian economy are more uncertain than normal, but if the economy evolves as anticipated, the policy rate will be around 3% next year,” bank Governor Ida Wolden Bache said in a statement.
Thursday’s rate hike takes effect Friday.