As expected, the Romanian Central Bank, BNR, decided in its board session on Thursday to increase the key interest rate 0.25%, up to 10%, the highest level since 2005. The sixth growth in the past nine months was anticipated by most analysts, given the inflation rate growth caused in July by the growing prices in energy, natural gas and tobacco.

The key interest increased from 7% on October 2007 to 10%.

BNR also decided to maintain the minimum reserves level for credit institutions - 20% of all liabilities in the national currency, RON, and 40% for liabilities in foreign, convertible currencies.

The BNR inflation target is 3.8 +/- 1% for 2008 and 3.5 +/- 1% for 2009. BNR revised its inflation prognosis for 2008 from 5.9 to 6%, but reduced the estimations for 2009 from 3.9 to 3.5%.