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Oct 17, 2013

Russians still fearful on inflation, central bank survey shows

MOSCOW, Oct 17 (Reuters) – More than three quarters of
Russians assume inflation will outpace wage growth over the next
year, a central bank survey shows, underlining the bank’s
reluctance to cut interest rates.

Chronically high inflation expectations have deterred the
central bank’s new policymaking team under governor Elvira
Nabiullina from loosening monetary policy over recent months
even as economic growth has ground to a halt.

Oct 14, 2013

Russian central bank holds rates, concerned about inflation expectations

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank kept its main policy rate on hold as expected on Monday, stating concerns over stubborn inflation expectations even as retail price growth fell to the top of its target range.

The bank left its key one-week minimum auction repo rate at 5.5 percent, leaving policy rates unchanged for the 13th month in a row.

Sep 24, 2013

Monetary policy can’t fix Russia’s structural problems: central banker

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank has limited scope to reverse an economic slowdown that reflects underlying structural problems rather than tight credit, the bank’s new head of monetary policy said.

Ksenia Yudayeva, appointed to head monetary policy under new Chairwoman Elvira Nabiullina, defended the bank against political pressure to cut interest rates to boost growth.

Sep 23, 2013

Russia can afford to keep Putin’s social promises

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is committed to improving education, health and social welfare and will have no problem financing their long-term development, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit.

Concerns about Russia’s poor demographics, an eroding skills base and the high cost of social security obligations are mounting, amid signs that these chronic problems are taking a toll on overall economic performance.

Sep 18, 2013

Economic slowdown and Putin’s promises take toll on Russian budget

MOSCOW, Sept 18 (Reuters) – The Russian budget’s dependence
on fickle oil and gas prices is set to remain high, as the
country will be forced to borrow more in response to an
unexpectedly severe economic slowdown.

Under a three-year budget plan seen by Reuters on Wednesday,
the Finance Ministry will raise borrowing to compensate for
lower-than-expected tax revenues and to fund the rising cost of
spending promises made by President Vladimir Putin.

Sep 13, 2013

Russia launches interest-rate overhaul, holds key rates

MOSCOW, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank on Friday
announced a major overhaul of its monetary policy framework to
simplify its interest-rate toolkit, while resisting pressure to
cut policy rates to boost the sluggish economy.

In a move to strengthen the influence of policy rates over
market rates, the central bank said that it was making its
one-week auction repo rate, presently 5.5 percent, its main
policy rate from Sept. 16.

Sep 12, 2013

Russian price freeze decision boosts rate cut chances

MOSCOW, Sept 12 (Reuters) – A decision by Russian President
Vladimir Putin to freeze utility prices in 2014 adds to chances
that the central bank will cut key policy rates when it meets to
discuss them on Friday.

By a narrow margin, analysts polled by Reuters earlier in
the week had expected the central bank to hold rates this month,
despite pressure from the Kremlin to boost the flagging economy.

Sep 6, 2013

Russia considering freeze in regulated prices in 2014

MOSCOW, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Russia is considering whether to
forgo annual increases in prices for state-regulated utilities
such as gas, electricity and railways in 2014, according to a
directive issued by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday.

The directive, published on the government’s website on
Friday, instructed the Ministries of Economic Development,
Finance, Transport and Energy, and also the Federal Tarriff
Service, to evaluate the impact of the proposal on the economy
and companies.

Aug 9, 2013

Russian central bank warns of risks to growth but keeps rates on hold

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank warned of risks to growth on Friday and said output was below potential but, with inflation above target and the rouble weak, it resisted political pressure to cut interest rates.

Data this month showing that manufacturing and services sector activity shrank in July added to signs that Russia’s economy is losing steam.

Jul 12, 2013

Russia central bank signals monetary easing ahead, acts to spur lending

MOSCOW, July 12 (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank signalled
policy easing ahead on Friday and introduced a new mechanism for
long-term bank funding to try and boost lending, while keeping
interest rates on hold for now.

Despite pressure from the Kremlin to cut rates to boost
Russia’s economy, which is growing at its slowest pace in four
years, the bank left its main policy rate, the one-day minimum
auction repo rate, at 5.5 percent for the 10th month in a row.