Russian Central Bank Maintains Key Interest Rate

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The Bank of Russia has decided to keep the key interest rate at 16 percent, signaling a possible rise for the next meeting, said a statement by the bank on Friday.

The bank cited as a key reason the current inflation that remains at the level observed in the first quarter of 2024.

The key rate could be raised at an upcoming meeting scheduled for July 26, as “returning inflation to the target will require a significantly longer period of maintaining tight monetary conditions in the economy than it was forecast in April,” said the bank.

“As of June 3, annual inflation stood at 8.1 percent after 7.8 percent at the end of April,” it said, forecasting an annual inflation of around 4 percent for 2025.

GDP data for the first and second quarters of 2024 indicate an ongoing growth of Russia’s economy, the bank said, noting that unemployment has hit a historic low while “labor shortages come as the key constraint on the expansion of output of goods and services.”

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