Romania’s central bank raises interest rate – Xinhua

BUCHAREST, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) — The Romanian National Bank (BNR) announced Monday to raise the key interest rate per annum to 2 percent, starting with Tuesday, from the previous 1.75 percent.

The BNR’s Board also decided to adjust upward the interest rate for the deposit facilities to 1 percent per year and that for lending facilities to 3 percent per year, from 0.75 percent and 2.75 percent, respectively.

It was the first time in almost a decade since the bank last hiked rates.

It was also the first time in more than two years and a half since the central bank last changed its key rate in May 2015, when it lowered the rate by a quarter point to a record low level of 1.75 percent.

The central bank lowered the benchmark rate over 20 times from 10.25 percent in January 2009 to 1.75 percent in May 2015.

As early as the end of last year, local analysts expected that the central bank would raise the rates amid the inflation return.

Consumer prices continued to increase in the past months, while the annual inflation rate went up to 3.23 percent in November from 2.6 in October.

The central bank in early November revised upwards the inflation forecast to 2.7 percent by the end of 2017, given that it had previously estimated a 1.9 percent inflation rate.

For the end of 2018, the bank estimated a 3.2 percent inflation rate, as compared to 3.1 percent previously estimated.