The Central Bank kept its benchmark rate unchanged

On Friday, March 18, the Bank of Russia at the meeting of the Board of Directors maintained the key rate at 11% per annum. The Central Bank has set such a bet, on 31 July 2015 and last four times I left it unchanged. At the last meeting in January, the Bank of Russia indicated that it “does not exclude the tightening of monetary policy” in case of aggravation of inflation risks.

It is this decision of the Central Bank the expectations of most economists and portfolio managers surveyed (23 of 31). The Bank of Russia is a hostage to his January comment, said the chief economist at Alfa Bank Natalia Orlova. “The previous comment was very harsh. The Central Bank indicated a growing risk of inflation and potential rate hike at the next meeting,” she recalled. The current situation in the markets and in the economy speaks in favour of a rate cut, but the January communiqué makes it impossible, I’m sure Orlov. “The Central Bank cannot reduce the rate as soon as said of her possible promotion. The regulator must act consistently and in accordance with those signals that it sends,” agreed chief economist “PF the Capital” Evgenie Nadorshin. According to him, at this meeting, the Central Bank could only change the rhetoric of the press release.

The risk of inflation is reduced, however, the Central Bank will not rush with interest rate cut, said a leading analyst group analysis of the debt markets division of research and analysts PJSC “Promsvyazbank” Dmitry Gritskevich. In annual terms, inflation, according to Rosstat, decreased in February from 9.8 to 8.1% in January. However, from April 1 increase in fuel excise taxes and the Central Bank, most likely, will postpone the rate reduction until will appreciate the contribution of this factor to inflation, the analyst believed.

Inflation is gradually declining, but it is not clear how will change the rate in the medium term, said Nadorshin. “Shrinking demand does not allow producers and sellers to take full account in the price of goods the problems they faced in recent time; with the stabilization of demand, prices can start to grow quickly”, — he said. Last year the recession in the economy inflation, says the economist, while last year the Central Bank policies cannot be called as a deterrent. “The regulator too quickly to lower interest rates, and the most part of the year was below inflation. Maintaining rates at the current level now can have a positive effect,” adds Nadorshin.

In prices of bonds were called for lowering rates by 100-150 basis points, says chief economist for Russia and CIS at ING Commercial Banking Dmitry Polevoy. Therefore, the surveyed economists believed that the decision of the Central Bank to leave rate unchanged, but to announce the easing of monetary policy in a press release will lead to fluctuations in the currency market on Friday, March 18.

The Bank of Russia, in fact, will play against the ruble, if you save a bet, but will release a “soft” press release, said the Vice-President of the Bank “FC Opening” Alexander Mansir. In his opinion, the ruble may weaken. “Usually the rate reduction affects the exchange rate, however, the latest ECB meeting, when rates were lowered, and the Euro has responded with a short decline and very quickly compensated, they say that this is not always confirmed,” said the chief of Department of investment consultation IK “Zerich capital Management” Alexander Melendy, adding that the reaction can be unpredictable.