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Financial News: Russia Keeps Rates On Hold

Russia Keeps Rates On Hold

06/15/2018 - 07:57:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Russia's central bank decided to leave its key interest rate unchanged as planned sales tax hike in 2019 is set to raise inflation going forward.

In a statement released Friday, the Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia said they maintained the key rate at 7.25 percent. The bank had lowered its rate by 25 basis points each in March and February.

The central bank forecasts annual inflation to be 3.5-4 percent in late 2018 and increase for a short-term period to 4-4.5 percent in 2019. According to central bank, the consumer price growth rate will return to 4 percent in early 2020.

The weakening of ruble exchange rate in April moderately affects the dynamics of inflation and inflation expectations, the bank noted. In the coming months, prices will continue to adapt to the established level of the exchange rate and prices of oil products, the bank said.

Planned tax revisions will make about a 1 percentage point contribution to inflation. Partially this effect may take place this year, the central bank added.

The bank said the balance of risks up to the end of 2019 has shifted towards proinflationary risks. The main risks are related to the effects of the adopted tax and fiscal policy decisions and to external factors.

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