January 15, 2020 / 11:49 AM / 12 days ago

New committee to keep Norway interest rates on hold: Reuters poll

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s central bank is expected to leave interest rates unchanged next week when a new policy-setting committee announces its first decision, a Reuters poll of economists showed on Wednesday.

While rates have so far been determined by Norges Bank’s executive board, parliament has mandated a new committee on monetary policy and financial stability, consisting of the governor, the two deputy governors and two external economists.

The central bank raised its key policy rate three times in 2019, putting it at 1.5%. Last month it said rates would likely remain on hold amid an expected slowdown in growth, albeit with a greater probability still of a hike than a cut.

“The major signal was however that the policy rate will be held unchanged in the coming period, and that is also in line with our forecast,” DNB Markets wrote.

All 40 economists polled by Reuters expect the central bank to maintain its deposit rate at 1.5% when it announces its decision on Jan. 23, and a majority also expected policy to remain on hold for at least the next 18 months.

Writing by Terje Solsvik in Oslo; Polling by Sarmista Sen in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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