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IMF welcomes Russia’s decision on ruble’s free float

November 13, 2014, 19:43 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
The Russian regulator’s decision should strengthen the approach based on inflation targeting, raise the ruble exchange rate flexibility and facilitate the economy’s adaptation to external shocks
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© Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS

WASHINGTON, November 13. /TASS/. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) welcomes the Russian Central Bank’s decision to switch to a freely floating ruble, IMF spokesman Bill Murray said on Thursday.

The Russian regulator’s decision should strengthen the approach based on inflation targeting, raise the ruble exchange rate flexibility and facilitate the economy’s adaptation to external shocks, he said.

The Russian economy continues to depend strongly on oil exports and therefore a fall in world oil prices triggers a corresponding depreciation of the ruble, Murray said.

However, the ruble’s fall cannot fully isolate the economy from the implications of decreasing oil prices, he warned, adding that Russia’s economic growth rates were most likely to slow down further. Russia’s fiscal positions and current account indicators were also expected to worsen, he said.

According to its revised forecast, the IMF expects Russia’s GDP growth at about 0.2% in 2014 and 0.5% in 2015.

Russia’s Central Bank has abandoned since November 10 the ruble’s trading corridor limits and its regular interventions on the domestic foreign currency market amid falling world oil prices and speculators’ continued attacks on the national currency.

The Russian Central Bank has therefore switched to a freely floating ruble two months ahead of the scheduled time.

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