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Ruble rate becomes less sensitive to oil prices — Central Bank's chief

March 23, 15:43 UTC+3

Elvira Nabiullina also said that all-time low inflation levels in Russia are becoming systemic by nature

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© Alexandr Demyanchuk/TASS

MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. The ruble exchange rate has become less sensitive to oil prices, Chief of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina told a press conference on Friday.

"The impact of oil market fluctuations on economic conditions in our country has significantly decreased, we see that the ruble exchange rate has become less sensitive to oil prices, and the scale of this factor's impact on a wide range of consumer prices has decreased," Nabiullina said.

On inflation

All-time low inflation levels in Russia are becoming systemic by nature, according to Nabiullina.

"The all-time low inflation levels are becoming systemic. This is supported by the analysis of price dynamics across various commodity groups and regions," Nabiullina said.

The regulator also sees the potential for reduction of households inflation expectations, the chairperson said.

"We believe there is a room for the decline in pro-inflation expectations of households," Nabiullina added.

On capital outflow

The Bank of Russia revised upward the capital outflow and currency reserves growth forecasts.

"Russia will remain the next exporter throughout the forecast horizon. Accordingly, the forecast of capital outflow and currency reserves growth was revised upward. From $16 bln to $19 bln for the capital and from $35 bln to $50 bln for reserves," Nabiullina said.

At the same time, the Bank of Russia sees growing risks for the country related to the situation on global markets, Nabiullina said.

"Risks have also increased related to the situation on global markets. Normalization of the monetary policy in the United States and the Eurozone may occur quicker than market participants expect in the environment of high economic growth rates and low unemployment. The review of market expectation may be accompanied by volatility bursts, as in this February. Furthermore, policy normalization may lead to revision of urgency and risks premiums and the potential upward revaluation of neutral positive rates overseas. This may reduce attractiveness of investments into emerging economies, including Russia," the banker said.

The regulator is also concerned of growing protectionism in international trade, "which can affect global economic growth," Nabiullina added.

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