At its regular meeting on April 28, the Central Bank of Russia Board decided to lower the key rate by 50 basis points to 9.25 %, effective May 2. The CBR justified the cut by pointing to a considerable slowing in inflation and lower inflation expectations. The CBR had earlier cut its key rate by 25 basis points on March 27.
The CBR added that its assessment of potential further rate cuts this year is unchanged. However, it did not note when the next cut might be possible. The CBR expects 12-month inflation to reach its 4 % target by the end of this year and remain close to the 4 % in 2018–19. The economy is expected to grow in 2017–19, even if the average oil price falls by $10–15 from its current level of around $50 a barrel. The next regularly scheduled CBR Board key rate meeting is set for June 16.