SNAPSHOT2 min read

A cautious cut from the Russian central bank

We expect one further cut this year as inflation continues to decline.



Craig Botham
Senior Emerging Markets Economist

The Russian central bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 7.25%, in line with expectations. The overall tone of the accompanying statement was cautious, but still pointed to one further rate cut before a transition to neutral policy in early 2020.

This is in line with our expectations for rates to fall to 7% this year and then remain on hold throughout 2020.

Inflation continues to decline in Russia, as in much of the world, aided by currency appreciation and lower food prices. The central bank’s own forecast sees inflation falling further from 4.7% presently to 4% in early 2020.

A more dovish stance is precluded by concerns over inflation expectations; household expectations of future inflation remain elevated and there is some worry that they could become unanchored if geopolitical developments drive greater volatility in commodity prices and currencies.

The central bank also highlighted that fiscal policy should switch from contractionary to expansionary in the second half of this year, generating some inflationary pressure.

Overall though, growth is not strong enough at present to generate real fears of inflation. Investment, exports and consumption are all struggling, despite record low unemployment.

Our own forecast for growth sees only a modest pick-up in activity in 2020, with inflation heading lower in part as base effects from tax increases drop out. We concur with the central bank’s assessment and continue to expect one further rate cut before the easing cycle ends.

This article is issued by Cazenove Capital which is part of the Schroders Group and a trading name of Schroder & Co. Limited, 1 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Nothing in this document should be deemed to constitute the provision of financial, investment or other professional advice in any way. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

This document may include forward-looking statements that are based upon our current opinions, expectations and projections. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements.

All data contained within this document is sourced from Cazenove Capital unless otherwise stated.


Craig Botham
Senior Emerging Markets Economist


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