PETEROPAVLOVSK KAMCHATSKY, January 18, /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said he expected inflation to be around 5 percent in 2014.
Speaking of the rouble, the minister said he would not project any downward or upward trend in its exchange rate at the moment.
“As Ministry of Finance we must always make sure that the commitments we have made in the budget are fulfilled completely,” Siluanov said on Sergei Brilev’s Vesti v Subbotu (News on Saturday) television programme on January 18.
“Even if the price of oil drops to 90 U.S. dollars per barrel now or even lower, we will be able to fulfill our obligations under a three-year budget,” he said.
Annual inflation in Russia will grow in the first half of 2014 but will not exceed the projected 5 percent by the end of the year, Central Bank Deputy Chair Kseniya Yudayeva said at the Gaidar Forum held this week.
“I think inflation will start getting back to normal in the first half and by the beginning of the second half it will go to the level that will allow us to meet the target figures by the end of the year,” she said.
According to the Central Bank’s forecast, inflation in 2014 will be 5 percent, but may fluctuate upward by 1.5 percent. The 4.5 percent rise in tariffs for the population planned for 2014 would not affect the Bank’s inflation projections, Yudayeva said.
“Inflation acted quite surprisingly at the end of last year, and this needs to be analysed to understand the reasons. We will study and adapt our forecasts and, possibly, our policy as well,” she said.
Yudayeva noted that inflation in late 2013 was “so unpredictable” that it would be hard to make precise forecasts now as to how long the inflationary surge will last. “The situation may get clearer by the end of the first quarter,” she added.
At the same time, the banker believes that after a rise in the first half of the year inflation will start going down in the second half. “There will be no any major upsurge but it will still be higher,” Yudayeva said, speaking about the first half of 2014.