(Bloomberg) -- Norway’s central bank governor said it was too early to reach any conclusions on the long term outlook for inflation following January’s unexpected jump in the consumer price index.
“We were surprised,” Governor Oystein Olsen said Thursday after underlying inflation came in at an annual rate of 2.9%, way above the bank’s long-term target of 2%.
The latest estimates smashed forecasts from both Norges Bank and economists, squeezing the central bank between a slowing economy and accelerating inflation.
Dubbed “the last hawk” last year for pushing through a series of interest rates that went against the stream of other western economies, the bank has indicated monetary policy is now on hold for the foreseeable future.
“Even if the rise was relatively broadly based, it’s too early to say something on the inflation outlook based on one month,” Olsen said during an interview at his office in Oslo ahead of his annual address to the country’s political and business elites.
“All else equal, and if this continues, price increases in isolation will pull in one direction. But it’s easy to think of other information that pulls in another direction,” he said.
Economists said the Norwegian krone’s historical weakness played into the inflation surge.
“That is one hypothesis,” Olsen said. “We will analyze this further.”
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