Last Friday, the CBR left all key interest rates unchanged: the central policy rate (minimum auction repo rate) remained at 5.50%.
Overall, the tone of the statement was a bit more dovish, with a slightly greater focus on economic risks. Importantly, the CBR dropped two phrases that i) GDP remains close to the potential level and ii) the risks of growth slowing down on the back of monetary policy tightness are low. On the inflation front, the regulator stated that the high headline CPI was currently in line with its expectations and mainly spurred by temporary supply-side factors. Hence, we believe that this shift in rhetoric supports the idea that the CBR is now closer to a first easing step.
Maxim Oreshkin, Daria Isakova
VTB Capital analyst
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