The Swedish central bank has raised its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 2% to keep inflation in check as the Swedish economy grows.

The Riksbank says the Swedish economy is growing 'at a good rate' despite uncertainty in the international outlook, including the unexpectedly weak US economy and the debt crisis in the euro zone.

The Riksbank said today there was a need to gradually increase its main rate 'to stabilise inflation around the target of 2%'. Sweden's economy is currently one of the best performers in the EU.

Earlier, Australia kept its official interest rates steady at 4.75%, citing slower global growth due to Japan's March earthquake, European debt problems and surging commodity prices.

The Reserve Bank of Australia left the official cash rate unchanged for the seventh time since November - the last time they were raised - saying it now believed domestic growth was 'unlikely to be as strong as earlier forecast'.

Resumption of coal exports following the summer's damaging floods and cyclones was proceeding 'more slowly than initially expected', while consumer caution and the strong exchange rate was dampening activity, the RBA said.