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Raising retirement age can affect acceleration of economic growth — Central Bank

The measures can add to accelerated economic growth in the medium term, according to the regulator

MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Raising the retirement age in the medium term can contribute to the acceleration of economic growth, according to the Central Bank's report on monetary policy.

"2019 may encounter a risk of a certain slowdown in business activity. At the same time, a more considerable growth of the potential output is possible on the back of successful structural and institutional changes in the Russian economy. The measures aimed at extending the retirement age can also add to accelerated economic growth in the medium term," the report said.

The regulator also said that sanctions will stop affecting financial markets, business sentiment and the ruble exchange rate trend by the end of 2018.

The expansion of US sanctions in April this year against a number of large Russian companies in the real sector led to a weakening of the ruble. This was partly offset by growth of oil prices from March to May above the forecast, the Central Bank noted.

According to the Central Bank’s press release published on Friday after the board meeting, accelerated yield growth in advanced economies and geopolitical factors can cause volatility in financial markets and influence inflation expectations.

"With respect to external conditions accelerated yield growth in advanced economies and geopolitical factors may cause surges in volatility in financial markets and affect expectations for the exchange rate and inflation," the regulator said.

At the same time, the regulator in the medium term expects a faster growth of the Russian economy in case of successful implementation of the planned fiscal measures.

According to the forecast of the Central Bank, Russia's GDP growth in 2018 will be 1.5-2%, and in 2019-2020 the economic growth rates will remain around these levels.

"The Bank of Russia’s forecast might be further updated to reflect a detailed estimate of influence that the set of fiscal measures, announced on 14 June 2018, will have on economic performance. Although in the medium term if the scheduled measures are successfully implemented the expected economic growth could be faster compared to the Bank of Russia’s baseline forecast," the regulator said.

On Friday, the Bank of Russia kept the key rate at 7.25% per annum after the government announced plans to raise VAT and the growth in gasoline prices outstripping inflation in May.

At its previous meeting of the Board of Directors on April 27, the regulator kept the rate unchanged, noting that further decisions would depend on the level of inflation risks, the dynamics of consumer price growth and the pace of economic development in comparison with the forecast.