MOSCOW — Russia's Central Bank on Friday raised its key lending rate for the fourth time in half a year in an effort to bring down surging inflation.
The bank raised the rate to 15%, up 200 basis points. The interest rate in the first half of the year was 7.5%.
“Current inflationary pressures have significantly increased to a level above the Bank of Russia’s expectations,” the bank said in a statement.
It said seasonally adjusted price growth in the third quarter exceeded an annualized 12% and inflation for the year is expected to be about 7%. The bank said it expected inflation to fall to about 4% in 2024.
Raising interest rates is intended to impede inflation by increasing the cost of borrowing and encouraging savings.
“Steadily rising domestic demand is increasingly exceeding the capabilities to expand the production of goods and the provision of services. Inflation expectations remain elevated. Lending growth paces are invariably high,” the bank said.
Sanctions imposed over Russia's military operation in Ukraine and increased defense spending have taken a toll on the Russian economy, notably on the ruble's exchange value, which has dropped about 25% against the US dollar this year.