Russia’s Economy Is Tanking—but the Ruble Is Soaring

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:

Sanctions against Russia have pushed its economy into what could be the biggest decline in decades—but the country’s currency has gone the other way.

The ruble strengthened this week to levels not seen since 2018, making the currency the best performer against the dollar this year, based on a Dow Jones Market Data analysis of 56 currencies. The ruble has risen 22% against the greenback in 2022 and is up roughly 160% since it bottomed out days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine three months ago.

Normally, currencies follow economies up or down. In Russia’s case, government efforts that limited selling and forced buying pushed it higher, so high in fact that it has started to weigh on the economy.

“I wouldn’t have anticipated this,” said Jane Foley, head of foreign-exchange strategy at Rabobank. “But when you put in the capital controls, you’re not looking at something real.”

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