Czech central bank raises interest rate amid booming economy

PRAGUE — Amid a booming economy, the Czech Republic's central bank has raised its key interest rate by a quarter point to 0.75 percent.

Thursday's rate increase is the third since August, the latest made in November.

The bank estimates that the economy grew 4.5 percent last year and that the annual inflation rate reached 2.7 percent as of December, above the bank's target of 2 percent.

In 2012, the bank had slashed its key interest rate to 0.05 percent, the lowest since the 1993 split of Czechoslovakia to help the struggling export-oriented economy.

The 19 eurozone states, including Germany, are the country's major trading partners but the Czech leaders have yet to set a date for adopting the euro.

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