-Russian Central Bank cuts interest rates to pre-crisis level
The Central Bank of Russia lowered its policy rate by 0.25 basis points to 7% for the first time since 2014 in line with expectations.
According to the statement from the bank on Friday, “due to inflation expectations being close to target levels, interest rates were cut by 0.25 basis points to 7%.”
Russia's year-end inflation rate expects to be between 4% and 4.5% while the inflation level is expected to be below 4% next year.
The bank stated that it plans to continue interest rate cuts at its next meeting and to gradually shift from a tight fiscal policy to a more neutral policy by the first half of 2020.
The bank also reduced its growth forecast for the Russian economy in 2019 from 1.0 to 1.5% to 0.8 to 1.3%, while lowering its oil price forecast from $65 to $63 a barrel.
Due to sanctions and the decline in oil prices, the policy rate, which was 7 % in March 2014, was raised to 17% in December 2014.
Since the beginning of 2015, the Central Bank of Russia gradually lowered interest rates from 17 % down to 7.25 % in July this year.