(Repeats to additional subscribers)
STOCKHOLM, April 27 (Reuters) - Sweden's central bank held its benchmark interest rate at -0.50 percent as expected on Thursday but said it would extend its bond buying programme by 15 billion Swedish crowns and pushed out its forecast for when rates may rise to the middle of 2018.
"Inflation has shown a rising trend for some years, but it is now expected to take longer before it stabilises around 2 per cent," the bank said in a statement.
"To support the upturn in inflation, monetary policy needs to be somewhat more expansionary," it said.
In February, underlying inflation hit the 2 percent target for the first time in more than six years, but fell back again, supporting central bank fears that the recent uptick was not yet on firm ground. (Reporting by Stockholm Newsroom; Editing by Toby Chopra)