Russian inflation expected to peak at 15-17% as CBR cuts interest rate

Alexei Ulyukayev, Russian Minister of Economic Development,

Russian inflation is likely to peak at between 15% and 17% around March and April before dropping down to 12% by the year end, Russia’s  Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said yesterday (January 31). Ulyukaev also predicted that Russia’s GDP would contract by 3% this year if the price of oil averaged $50 a barrel. He also defended the Central Bank of Russia’s decision to cut the key interest rate by  2 points down to 15%, despite the fact that it had driven the dollar-rouble exchange rate down to 69.66 at 15:40 GMT on Sunday February 1. He called the decision “justified” and “expedient” and signalled the CBR’s understanding that the risks posed to financial stability had decreased. “This [the rate cut] is an undoubtedly responsible and positive step,” he said. ITAR-TASS, rbth