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Russian ruble to rebound very slowly in 2015 — Sberbank official

October 29, 2014, 18:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Amid ruble weakening the inflation index in Russia may reach 9.1% in 2014, says Chairwoman of the Center for Macroeconomic Research at Sberbank Yulia Tseplyayeva

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© ITAR-TASS/Ruslan Shamukov

MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. The Russian ruble will rebound very slowly, while 2015 will be the year of a strong US dollar, Chairwoman of the Center for Macroeconomic Research at Sberbank Yulia Tseplyayeva said Wednesday.

“Yes, the US dollar will be strong in 2015 not only due to end of (the US QE) stimulating program, but also due to the fact the US Federal Reserve is likely to increase its rate in 2015, while the European Central Bank will launch its QE program. It will be the time of a strong US dollar, and the ruble’s rebound may take a while,” Tseplyayeva said.

“News flow is negative, and the situation causes great concern among us,” she said, pointing out the falling oil prices, which can decrease further in 2015. However, the Russian ruble is seriously underpriced, and its fair price is 38 rubles against the US dollar.

“There are no fundamental reasons for such a weak ruble rate as it is now. Speaking of a long-term prospective — the ruble’s strengthening is more likely than the weakening.”

Comparing the current situation with 1998, she said the situations are radically different, as in 1998 the oil price fell to a critical low of US $9 per barrel, while Russia’s budget deficit was colossal. Now the budget is balanced, Russia’s debt is low and the central bank has many instruments of helping the banking system.

“The blow to the ruble is unlikely to be as strong as it was, but it will be a prolonged one,” Tseplyayeva said.

Inflation in Russia may reach 9.1% in 2014

Russian prices will rise 9.1% in 2014, Yulia Tseplyayeva said, speaking about inflation index.

“Our forecast is 9.1%,” she said, adding that in 2015 the consumer price inflation index will also be high and will peak in January-March.

“Inflation will be significantly higher than the target set several months ago. The Central Bank has carefully said inflation may exceed 7% when it published its basics of monetary policy, but we can definitely say now it can exceed 9%.”

She also said the unforeseeable geopolitical factors add 1.5 percentage points to the inflation, while the ruble’s devaluation contributed about 2 percentage points.

The consumer price inflation index has so far amounted to 8.4% in annual terms.



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