The ruble cemented its unlikely status as the world’s best-performing currency, rising to new multiyear highs this week. Since collapsing in the weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which triggered sweeping international sanctions aimed at crippling the Russian economy, the ruble has come roaring back.
On Tuesday, it traded at its strongest level against the U.S. dollar since June 2015. It has gained about 35 percent so far this year, beating every major currency, and has more than doubled from its post-invasion low.
Although Russia’s economy has held up better than many expected, the outlook is gloomy, with double-digit inflation and most economists predicting a deep recession. But capital controls imposed by its central bank, including those that forced exporters to exchange some of their earnings into rubles, have increased demand for the Russian currency. [Continue reading…]