Moscow — On Friday, Russia’s central bank raised its interest rates for the first time since a currency crisis in 2014 as worries about emerging-market turmoil and Western sanctions batter the rouble. The Bank of Russia (BOR) said in a statement that it is lifting its benchmark lending rate by 0.25 percentage points to 7.5% and could raise it again in the future to rein in any acceleration in inflation. "Changes in external conditions" since the bank’s last policy meeting in July "have significantly increased pro-inflationary risks", the statement said. The bank cited growing uncertainty over Western sanctions as well as capital outflow from emerging markets. The move came as a surprise: analysts have been penciling in no change in borrowing rates at this meeting as rates have remained unchanged since March 2017. Upgrading the bank’s inflation forecast for next year to 5.0% to 5.5% from 4.0%, BOR chief Elvira Nabiullina told journalists that the weakening of the rouble in August "co...

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