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Russia’s Monetary Policy in 2018

Alexandra Bozhechkova, Anna Kiyutsevskaya, Pavel Trunin and Alexander Knobel

Published Papers from Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy

Abstract: Russia’s central bank adopted a new monetary policy regime in 2018 by raising the key interest rate for the first time since December 2014. After slashing the key interest rate on February 9th and on March 23rd by 0.25 percentage points to 7.5 and 7.25 percent per annum, respectively, the central bank lifted the rate on September 14th by 0.25 percentage points to 7.5 percent per annum, with another hike on December 14th of 0.25 percentage points to 7.75 percent per annum. The transition to a neutral monetary policy regime2 slowed as far back as in 2017. There were more constraints to interest rate cuts in 2018 that came from new April and August anti-Russia sanctions that spurred capital outflows from the country and depreciation of the Russian ruble, a VAT hike decision scheduled for 2019, a late-year fall in energy prices, and concerns about possible heightening of inflation expectations. The key interest rate hike suggested that the Bank of Russia is committed to bring inflation back down to target in the medium term. For instance, according to a forecast of the central bank, end-of-year inflation for 2019 may reach 5–5.5 percent, and it is not until 2020 that inflation is back to its target.

Keywords: Russian economy; monetary policy; money market; exchange rate; inflation; balance of payments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E31 E43 E44 E51 E52 E58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 19 pages
Date: 2019, Revised 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cis, nep-mac, nep-mon and nep-tra
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Handle: RePEc:gai:ppaper:ppaper-2019-960