The Russian central bank previously cut the refi rate 25bps at its December meeting, while it last raised the fixed overnight deposit rate by 25bps to 3.50% in May, and the benchmark refinancing rate by 25 basis points to 8.25% in April this year. Russia reported annual inflation of 4.1% in January, down from 6.8% in November, 7.2% in September and October, down from 8.2% in August, 9% in July, and 9.4% in June, meanwhile Bank Chairman Sergey Ignatiev is trying to keep inflation between 6% and 7%.
Russian economic growth was recorded at 5.2% y/y in Q3 this year, compared to 3.4% in Q2, 4.1% in Q1, and 4.5% in the December quarter of 2010; the IMF is expecting 4.5% growth for the full year. The Russian Ruble (RUB) has weakened about 3% against the US dollar over the past year, while the USDRUB exchange rate last traded around 30.16. The Bank plans to meet again in early March.