Russian Central Bank forecasts abrupt slowdown of inflation

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ST. PETERSBURG, June 2. (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Central Bank expects the inflation to slow down visibly in the next few months. "Within the next few months we forecast an abrupt slowdown of the inflation rate," chairman Sergei Ignatyev announced at the 14th International Banking Congress.

The Bank, he said, faces two very difficult tasks - to reduce the annual inflation rate in 2005 to 8% from 11.7% last year, simultaneously trying to prevent the real effective rate of the rouble from an abrupt rise.

"So far I have not given up hope," Mr. Ignatyev said. In the four months of 2005 the rouble rate has grown by 6.7%, he added.

Inflation for the period was 6.5% compared to 4.6% in the same period of 2004. Earlier, the Russian Economic Development Ministry had also forecast an inflation rate of 8%, but later raised it to 10%.

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