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    Gold, currency reserves could stop growing by 2010-2011-CBR

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    MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's gold and foreign currency reserves could stop growing by 2010-2011, the Central Bank first deputy head said Tuesday.

    "By 2010-2011, the gold and currency reserves will stop growing," Alexei Ulyukayev said.

    Ulyukayev said capital inflow would not compensate for a decline in trade surplus starting from 2008. The growth of gold and currency reserves will slow down by $30-$40 billion in 2007, year-on-year, he said, adding that the trend would persist in 2008.

    The official told a conference on economic modernization that January-March saw a $12.5 billion net capital inflow, as compared to $5.8 billion in net capital outflow in the first quarter of 2006. "The difference is $18 billion," Ulyukayev said.

    He said last year saw a record high $41 billion net capital inflow and that the Central Bank expected the figure to be $30 billion in 2007 and to fluctuate between $30 billion and $50 billion until 2010.

    Trade surplus was $28 billion in January-March, against $36.5 billion in the first quarter of 2006, and Ulyukayev said he doubted that the trend would change this year.

    He also said there was a decline in the current account surplus from $30.5 billion in January-March 2006 to $22 billion in the same period this year.

    "Consequently, the Central Bank should buy less foreign currency on the domestic market," Ulyukayev said adding that this was the best way to reduce the growth of money supply, which the Central Bank expects to be 33%, against 50% in 2006.

    He said earlier that the Bank of Russia was planning to buy $70-80 billion on the foreign exchange market in 2007, which is $40-50 billion less than in 2006.

    Earlier reports citing Central Bank data said the current account surplus was $94.5 billion in 2006, a 13.3% growth, year-on-year, and that the trade surplus was $139.2 billion, up 17.7% from 2005.

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