Russia’s Monetary Policy in 2018
Russian Economy in 2018. Trends and Outlooks. (Issue 40). 2019. Moscow. IEP, pp. 35-54
22 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2019
Date Written: September 5, 2019
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 regime 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, inflation, balance of payments, exchange rate
JEL Classification: E31, E43, E51, E58, F14, F37, L60, L80
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation