The risk of inflation is currently greater than that of slower growth in Russia, prompting the country’s monetary authorities to tighten monetary policy, Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said on Tuesday.
“We believe inflationary risks are higher,” Ulyukayev said in the lobbies of the fourth Russia Is Calling investment forum in Moscow sponsored by VTB Capital, part of the country’s second largest bank VTB.
The Central Bank Board of Directors will convene on October 5 to discuss the regulator’s interest rate policy, he said.
“We do not rule out that the interest rates will stay unchanged or will be raised,” he said.
However, even if interest rates are raised, this will hardly influence inflation in 2012, he said.
“This will hardly affect the inflationary result this year. We are speaking about medium-term inflationary risks,” he said, adding the time lag for an interest rate hike to reduce inflationary pressure was normally six to twelve months.
The regulator is more concerned about rising inflation next year, which is expected to be difficult, he said.
At a previous board meeting on September 13, the regulator raised the key refinancing rate by 0.25 percentage points to 8.25 percent.
Consumer price inflation in Russia hit a historic post-Soviet period low of 6.1 percent in 2011, but is expected to come close to 7 percent this year, exceeding the government’s 6 percent target.