STOCKHOLM Feb 15 Sweden's central bank held its
benchmark interest rate at -0.50 percent and its quantitative
easing programme unchanged as expected on Wednesday, but
indicated that it could still loosen policy further if
"The Executive Board is still prepared to make monetary
policy more expansionary if the upward trend in inflation were
to be threatened and confidence in the inflation target
weakened"," it said in a statement.
The Riksbank said that economic activity was strengthening,
but there was considerable political uncertainty abroad and the
risks of setbacks had increased.
With underlying inflation in December within touching
distance of the central bank's 2 percent target, all 18 analysts
in a Reuters poll had forecast no change in current policy.
(Reporting by Stockholm Newsroom; Editing by Toby Chopra)