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Key event: CBR’s policy meeting on Thursday

This week includes December’s statistics on non-CIS imports, on the sales of new passenger cars (AEB, 15-16 January) and on the federal budget balance for FY12 (from MinFin, 17-21 January). The CBR is to publish the external trade balance for November (16 January). However, heading the list is the CBR’s policy meeting, scheduled for 15 January.

This week, all eyes will be on the regulator’s key rates decision. We do not expect any changes in the key policy rates and suggest that the regulator will reiterate the phrase that the current level of the rates is appropriate for the near term. We believe that the regulator’s tone will be more dovish. Among the other important things to watch this week:

  • Data on the external trade balance in November is to be weaker than in October due to stronger imports and lower oil prices (in November-October vs. October- September). Our estimates imply that the trade balance for November might be around USD 13.5bn.
  • In the report on fiscal statistics for the full year 2012, we might see a marginal surplus of around 0.3% of GDP, higher than the -0.07% of GDP official estimate given in the budget law.
  • December car sales. We are to see another weak reading and expect growth of 1.9% YoY.
  • We expect the weekly CPI (Wednesday) to point to an acceleration in headline YoY growth, with it reaching 6.9%. 
Maxim Oreshkin, Daria Isakova
VTB Capital analyst

CBR, Russia, oil

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