On 25 April 2014 the Bank of Russia Board of Directors decided to raise
the key rate to 7.5 percent per annum due to higher inflation risks. The
probability of inflation exceeding the 5.0% target at the end of 2014 has
increased substantially. This has been caused by more pronounced than expected
pass-through effect of the exchange rate dynamics on consumer prices, the rise
in inflation expectations, as well as unfavourable conditions in the markets for
some goods. The Bank of Russia does not intend to lower the key rate in the
coming months. The Bank of Russia estimates that the adopted decision would
ensure the decline in inflation to no more than 6.0% by the end of 2014.
In March - April 2014, the year-on-year consumer price growth rate rose and
stood at 7.2% as of 21 April 2014. Weekly inflation has persisted at 0.2%.
Inflation acceleration has been mainly caused by the larger than expected impact
of exchange rate dynamics. Unfavourable conditions in the markets for some
goods, such as dairy products, sugar, pork, and petrol, also have contributed to
higher inflation rates. Some additional inflationary pressure has come from a
temporary surge in consumer demand for non-food goods amid the rise of inflation
expectations. As a result, there was the increase in prices for a wide range of
goods, including domestically produced goods, as well as services. In March
2014, core inflation accelerated to 6.0% from 5.6% in February.
The current economic slowdown is predominantly structural by nature and thus
does not exert any noticeable downward pressure on inflation. Historically low
unemployment rate constrains economic growth potential. Due to demographic
trends the impact of this factor will persist in the long run. Utilisation of
commercially viable production capacity remains relatively high. Labour
productivity growth is sluggish, while fixed capital investment continues to
contract because of declining profits in the real sector, limited access to
long-term financing in both international and domestic markets, as well as low
producer and consumer confidence. Uncertainty about international political
situation also hampers production and investment. Besides, weak economic
activity in most countries, which are Russia’s trading partners, restrains the
economic growth of Russia. At the same time, persistently high oil prices have a
stabilising effect on the domestic economy and public finance.
In March - April 2014, household rouble deposit rates began to grow. This was
caused by the conversion of funds to foreign currency due to higher inflation
expectations and by increasing bank funding costs, inter alia, as a result of
the Bank of Russia’s decision to raise the key rate in March 2014. In addition,
banks tighten lending conditions, in particular, by increasing loan rates. At
the same time, weak economic activity restrains demand for loans and
respectively curbs a rise of interest rates on loans.
According to the Bank of Russia projections, a year of 2014 will continue to
witness a downward trend in economic growth. Boost to economy from the observed
rouble depreciation will be limited. Amid economic uncertainty and declining
producer confidence there is a strong probability of a reduction in fixed
capital investment. Combination of slower growth in real wages and a decline in
household lending growth rates will have a dampening effect on consumer
Inflation will stay around the current level until the mid-2014. In the
second half of the year, consumer price growth will decelerate as a result of
lower planned hikes in administered prices and tariffs, falling inflation
expectations, and the aggregate output of goods and services remaining below
potential. Since monetary policy affects the economy with a lag, the probability
of inflation exceeding the 5.0% target at end-2014 has increased substantially.
The adopted decision on the key rate would ensure the decline in inflation to no
more than 6.0% by the end of 2014 and help to maintain the appropriate balance
of inflation risks and the risks of further economic slowdown. In the medium
term the effect of factors behind the observed acceleration in consumer price
growth will be exhausted and in the absence of any new shocks to the economy
inflation will hit the target levels set in the Guidelines for the Single State
Monetary Policy in 2014 and for 2015 and 2016.
The next meeting of the Bank of Russia Board of Directors on the key rate is
scheduled for 16
June 2014. The press-release on the Bank of Russia Board of Directors’
decision is to be published at 13:30, Moscow time.
Interest rates on the Bank of Russia major
||Type of instrument
||Rate since 03.03.14
(from 11:00 Moscow time)
|Rate since 28.04.14
| Liquidity provision
||Standing facilities (fixed rates)
Loans secured by gold
Loans secured by non-marketable assets and guarantees
FX swaps (rouble leg)
|Open market operations (minimum interest
||Loans secured by non-marketable assets, auctions2
||from 1 to 6 days3, 1 week
||Open market operations (maximum interest rates)
||from 1 to 6 days3, 1 week
|Standing facilities (fixed rates)
||1 day, call
1 Complete information on interest rates on the Bank of Russia
operations is given in the Table
Interest rates on the Bank of Russia operations.
2 A floating interest rate linked to the level of the Bank of
Russia key rate.
3 Fine-tuning operations.
Information notice "On the procedure for conducting fine-tuning operations".
Information notice "On fine-tuning operations to absorb liquidity".