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Norway Unexpectedly Cuts Interest Rate To Zero

Norway's central bank cut its key interest rate unexpectedly to zero on Thursday and suggested that it is set remain at this level for some time ahead as the economic outlook is clouded with high uncertainty due to the impact of the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic.

The policy rate was cut to zero from 0.25 percent in a unanimous decision. Economists had expected the bank to leave the rate unchanged.

In March, the policy rate was lowered from 1.5 to 0.25 percent.

Norges Bank expects the low interest rates to support faster rebound in economic activity and hopes that they may reduce the risk of unemployment becoming entrenched at a high level.

"In the Committee's current assessment of the outlook and balance of risks, the policy rate will most likely remain at today's level for some time ahead," Norges Bank Governor Oystein Olsen said.

"We do not envisage making further policy rate cuts", Olsen said.

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