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Financial News: Russia's Central Bank Keeps Rates On Hold

Russia's Central Bank Keeps Rates On Hold

02/12/2021 - 07:11:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Russia's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged and signaled that that the easing cycle has come to an end.

The Board of Directors, led by Governor Elvira Nabiullina decided to retain the benchmark rate at 4.25 percent.

The bank said it will determine the timeline and pace of a return to neutral monetary policy.

This suggests that policymakers are setting the groundwork for a return of interest rates to the neutral 5-6 percent range, Liam Peach, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

One more 25 basis point interest rate cut to 4.00 percent now looks much less likely to materialize, but interest rates are likely to remain lower for longer than investors currently expect, the economist said.

According to policymakers, annual inflation will peak in February-March and decline later on. The path of the decline will be determined by the timing of exhaustion of the effect of proinflationary factors and 2020 base effects.

Given the current monetary policy stance, annual inflation will reach 3.7-4.2 percent in 2021 and remain close to 4 percent later on.

The bank forecasts the economy will grow in the range of 3.0-4.0 percent in 2021. GDP in 2022-2023 is set to grow 2.5-3.5 percent and 2.0-3.0 percent, respectively.

Accommodative monetary policy will continue to support the economy throughout 2021, the bank said.

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