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Markets News

HIGHLIGHTS-Russian central bank governor speaks at press conference

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MOSCOW, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina spoke at an online press conference after the central bank kept its key rate unchanged at 4.25% on Friday.

Below are the highlights of her comments:

ON KEY RATE

“We are now conducting soft monetary policy. Indeed, our rate is lower than our neutral rate range, as we estimate it at 5-6%. Of course, we see that someday we will have to return to the neutral range.”

“When this happens, at what pace, will depend on the development of the situation. And for now it is absolutely premature to speak about this, because we still see room to lower the key rate.”

“The main way for easing monetary policy has already passed. We still see some space for lowering the key rate, but we will assess the timing and necessity for using this space.”

ON KEY RATE FORECASTING

“We have indeed decided that we will publish the trajectory of the key rate. We are now discussing in what form and a timeline for when we will start publishing this rate.”

ON INFLATION

“Inflationary expectations remain at an elevated level.”

“Our preliminary assessment of tax innovations shows that the impact on inflationary processes will be insignificant.”

ON ROUBLE WEAKENING

“For now we do not see any additional, excessive demand for foreign currency from the population. I think the population and companies are already used to the floating exchange rate, that there are periods when it weakens and periods when it strengthens.”

ON BUDGET CONSOLIDATION

“We support the policy of the finance ministry, the government as a whole, on gradual budget consolidation and a return to the fiscal rule.”

“We understand that there will be budget consolidation, but in order to achieve 4% inflation in 2021, we will need to maintain soft monetary policy.”

ON 2020 GDP

“We will likely see that the situation will develop slightly better and the forecast for GDP will be close to the upper limit (of the previously forecast range of minus 4.5-5.5%), near -4.5%.”

ON CORONAVIRUS

“In the baseline scenario we have no deterioration of the situation, no second wave (of coronavirus). But of course, we must be ready for a different development of the situation, towards the unfavourable, too.”

ON GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

“Geopolitical risks of all kinds now exist and, indeed, their level is raised and they are linked with the anticipation of U.S. elections.”

“Everyone is concerned about how trade relations between the United States and China, and the situation with Brexit develop. There is a lot of uncertainty and we have our own specific risks.”

“If the situation develops further, we have a set of tools which allow us to support financial stability in all situations.” (Compiled by Alexander Marrow, editing by Maria Kiselyova)

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