Norway’s core inflation rose faster than expected in September but remained below the central bank’s projection, indicating the bank may delay a planned interest rate hike.
The consumer price index (CPI) excluding volatile energy prices rose 1.1 per cent year-on-year, data showed on Wednesday, ahead of analysts’ forecast for 1.0 per cent. Headline inflation meanwhile came to an annualised 0.5 per cent, in line with forecasts, as higher transportation costs were offset by cheaper electricity.
The central bank, which targets inflation at 2.5 per cent, has predicted a rate hike in December or the first half of next year, but some analysts have said that a recent string of low inflation readings could delay such a move.
Still, the bank may need to hike rates to remove some stimulus as Norway’s economy is expanding very fast. “Inflation is still below Norges Bank’s estimate and low inflation will in isolation suggests a lower rate path in October, but today’s numbers are not strengthening that argument further,” said Ida Wolden Bache, macro analyst at Handelsbanken. “We expect the first hike in March 2013 and we will not make any changes based on these figures,” Bache added.