Norway’s central bank kept its interest rates on hold at its latest policy meeting and plans to keep them there for the foreseeable future, adding that it will increase the frequency of its meetings and publish more information on its discussions in an effort to improve transparency around its policies.
Norges Bank said it will hold eight monetary policy meetings a year from 2018, up from the current six. It will also begin publishing minutes from the meeting at the same time as the interest rate decision is announced, effective from next month.
The move to publish minutes – including the voting records of the bank’s eight-strong executive board – brings the bank’s policy in line with most of its European peers, which generally publish details of their meetings a few weeks after the event.
The announcement came as the bank kept its key policy rate unchanged. Norges Bank’s repo rate of 0.5 per cent is one of the highest key rates among European central banks, and a slowdown in inflation in recent months had raised the prospect of a potential cut, but the bank has indicated that it is unlikely to change the rates any time soon.
Norges Bank governor Øystein Olsen said today that “the outlook and the balance of risks for the Norwegian economy do not appear to have changes substantially” since its March meeting, and the bank said rates will “most likely remain at 0.5 per cent in the period ahead”.
The bank will give a fuller monetary policy report after its next meeting in June.