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Amid rising inflation, Bank of Israel makes biggest interest rate hike in two decades

“We understand the pain of those taking loans, taking mortgages, but the pain today is to prevent a much greater pain in the future,” says Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron.

Israeli currency. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90.
Israeli currency. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90.

The Bank of Israel on Monday raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.75 percent in a bid to curb inflation that has topped 5% over the past 12 months.

The hike to 2.0% from 1.25% was the central bank’s biggest in two decades, and analysts believe additional increases are on the horizon, according to a Reuters report.

The interest rate stood at 0.1% in April, an all-time low set at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the report.

“We understand the pain of those taking loans, taking mortgages, but the pain today is to prevent a much greater pain in the future,” Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron told Channel 13 in reference to the hike.

He added that the bank remains determined to get inflation back within the 1-3% annual target.

In July, the Bank of Israel raised the interest rate by 0.5% after inflation in the country crossed “the upper bound of the target range,” at the time 4.1 percent.

Looking ahead, the bank said that it expected inflation to return to “within the target” range in 2024, and then the following year it would have “converged back to the midpoint of the range.”

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