October 26, 2017 / 7:46 AM / in a year

Swedish c.bank holds rates, no rise seen until mid-2018

STOCKHOLM, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Sweden’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate at -0.50 percent on Thursday and reiterated it was not expecting to raise rates until the middle of 2018.

“Monetary policy needs to remain expansionary for inflation to continue to be close to 2 per cent,” the central bank said in a statement.

It said it was important that the krona exchange rate did not appreciate too quickly, which could occur if Riksbank policy deviated clearly from that of other central banks.

The Riksbank is worried tightening policy too quickly would push up the crown and reverse the fragile uptick in inflation seen in recent months.

However, its ultra-loose policy is looking increasingly out of step with an economy expanding at around 3 percent a year, where inflation has been above or around the 2 percent target for most of this year.

The bank said it would await further information that could affect a decision in December to possibly extend asset purchases. (Reporting by Stockholm Newsroom; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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