Bank Of Russia Maintains Benchmark Interest Rate Unchanged

On May 15th, the Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia decided to maintain unchanged the refinancing rate and the interest rates on the Bank of Russia main liquidity provision and absorption operations and to reduce effective from 16 May 2013 the interest rates on certain longer-term operations by 0.25 percentage points.

Excerpt from the release by the Bank of Russia:

The decision was supported by the assessment of inflation risks and economic growth prospects. The cut in the interest rates on longer-term liquidity provision operations brings the cost of obtaining liquidity from the Bank of Russia by credit institutions closer to the interest rates on the Bank of Russia main liquidity provision operations, which will contribute to strengthening the interest rate channel of the monetary policy transmission mechanism.

In April and at the beginning of May the rate of inflation remained above the target range and as of 13 May 2013 was estimated at 7.2% over a year ago. Core inflation in April amounted to 5.7%. Observed pace of inflation is mainly explained by the food prices growth and the dynamics of certain regulated prices and tariffs. The inflation rate staying above the target range for a prolonged period of time may affect economic agents’ expectations and thus poses inflation risks, in particular taking into account the planned increases in the natural monopolies’ tariffs. However, according to the Bank of Russia projections based on the assumptions of maintaining the current monetary policy stance and absence of adverse food prices shocks, the rate of inflation will return to the target range in the second half of 2013.

The dynamics of the key macroeconomic indicators pointed to a continuing deceleration of economic growth in the first quarter of 2013. The industrial output did not increase as compared to the first quarter of 2012, investment activity stayed weak. Against this background economic confidence indicators are gradually deteriorating. There remain risks of further economic slowdown, stemming among other factors from the sluggish global recovery. At the same time, labour market conditions and credit dynamics still provide support to the domestic demand.

Bank of Russia | Duarte Ricardo |
5/20/2013 9:33:32 AM