World Economy

Russia Interest Rates Rise

Russia Interest Rates RiseRussia Interest Rates Rise

Russia’s central bank has raised its key interest rate to 9.5% from 8% as it seeks to tackle inflation.

The 1.5 percentage point increase was higher than expected, with analysts having forecast a rise of 0.5 percentage points, BBC reported.

The bank has already raised rates from 5.5% at the start of the year but the moves have failed to combat inflation.

A weak ruble and a ban on western food imports has kept inflation stubbornly high.

“If external conditions improve, and a persistent trend for lowering inflation and inflation expectations emerges, the Bank of Russia will be ready to start to ease its monetary policy,” the central bank said.

The new rate will take effect on November 5. The last rise was imposed at the end of July.

The central bank said that inflation had reached 8.4% and would remain above 8% until the end of March.

Economic growth is expected to almost grind to a halt in the final three months of this year and in the first quarter of 2015.


The ruble briefly firmed after the bank’s decision was announced, but then fell back into negative territory.

The rise comes as Russia said it would resume shipments of natural gas to Ukraine after Kiev makes its first payment for previous supplies next week.

On Thursday, the Russian ruble reversed its recent trend of breaking record lows against the dollar and the euro and came surging back.

Rumors quickly circulated about the cause of the unexpected rally.

After falling to yet another record low in early trading, the ruble suddenly began regaining lost ground from about 6 am ET.

Another rumor swirling Thursday was that Bogdan Yaremenko, a Ukrainian diplomat, was briefing journalists that Russian President Vladimir Putin had struck a deal with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko over gas supplies to the country and the disputed territory of Crimea.

  Trade Row

Meanwhile, the European Union said it had launched a trade dispute with Russia at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to challenge Russia’s treatment of European agricultural and manufactured goods.

The WTO said the EU had accused Russia of levying higher-than-permitted tariffs on a range of goods including paper, palm oil and refrigerators.

The dispute is the fifth case involving Russia and the EU that has been brought to the WTO.