Norges Bank raises benchmark rate

In a widely predicted move, Norway's central bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the eleventh time in two years, moving the deposit rate up by a quarter point to 4.5%.

The economy, excluding oil and shipping, has grown by more than 4% for the last three years and the country's statistics agency has raised its forecast for economic growth in 2007 to 4.1% from 3.3%.

Widespread labour shortages threaten to strengthen wage growth and fuel inflation, which means that rates will be lifted mo