Norway's core inflation rate jumped in May to its highest level on record, Statistics Norway data showed on Friday, boosting the probability that interest rates will continue to rise and pushing up the value of the country's currency.
Core inflation, which strips out changing energy prices and taxes, rose 6.7% year on year, up from 6.3% in April and exceeding the 6.2% average prediction among analysts polled by Reuters.
As a result, the Norwegian central bank may raise rates to more than 4% from the current 3.25%, including a potential hike of 50 basis points later this month, Nordea economist Dane Cekov said.
"This is very bad news for Norges Bank," Cekov added.
The central bank, which aims for core inflation of 2.0% in the medium term, had predicted that inflation would ease to 6.0% in May.
Norway's crown currency strengthened to 11.66 against the euro by 0729 GMT from 11.75 ahead of the 0600 GMT data release. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Essi Lehto)