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Norges Bank Watch 2013: An Independent Evaluation of Monetary Policy in Norway
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This report, Norges Bank Watch 2013, is an evaluation of the conduct of monetary policy in Norway in 2012. In addition, the report follows up on some themes introduced in previous Norges Bank Watch reports. In section 2 we review and comment on Norges Bank’s monetary policy in 2012. Most comments concern monetary policy in the first part of 2012, i.e. including the March Monetary Policy Report. NBW 2013 has three main comments to make. First, the rate cut of 25bp at the March MPC meeting is questioned both in light of the economic development at the time and effects of unintended signals given in Governor Olsen’s Annual Address. Second, the interest rate forecast in the March report looks somewhat unbalanced. And finally, we suggest that Norges Bank should publish forecasts for banks’ lending rates. In section 3 we follow up on previous Norges Bank Watch reports. We focus on three topics. First, in light of the new instrument for macro prudential policy, we discuss both the interaction between monetary policy and financial stability and issues related to central bank independence. Second, we comment on the new criteria for the interest rate path, which were published by Norges Bank in the Monetary Policy Report 1/2012. The aim of the new criteria was to clarify the interaction between monetary policy and financial stability. Third, and lastly, we shed new light on the use of CPIXE inflation as the main measure of core inflation. The committee met with the Ministry of Finance on 28 November 2012, and with Norges Bank on 7 December 2012. We wish to thank Norges Bank for supplying us with useful data and Hilde Christine Bjørnland, Eric Bruce, Steinar Juel, Arne Jon Isachsen and Erling Steigum for constructive comments.