The economist gave a forecast on the change in the Central Bank's key rate
May 25, 2022

The economist gave a forecast on the change in the Central Bank's key rate

Currently, it makes no sense to keep the key rate at 14%. At the next meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia, it may be reduced by 2-3%, a similar decrease can be expected in June. Vladimir Bragin, Director of Analysis of Financial Markets and Macroeconomics at Alfa-Capital, expressed the corresponding opinion in a conversation with Rambler. 

After the last rate decision, the situation continued to change rapidly. Firstly, since then, inflation data for the first two weeks of May have come in, which showed that inflation is slowing down very quickly. Plus, the Central Bank published data that it recorded a decrease in inflation expectations. Plus, we saw a strong strengthening of the ruble. That is, the situation, as I understand it, is already far beyond the forecasts of the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance, and even the most optimistic.

Yes, the Central Bank expected that inflation would slow down, that the ruble would stabilize, but still not so fast. Therefore, it makes no sense to keep the rate at 14% right now. Probably, the Central Bank decided not to wait for June 10 and cut the rate now. Maybe the decision will be made in two stages. As I believe, tomorrow there may be a decrease of 2-3%, the same - in June. But there is a point here that a too rapid rate cut is also a certain disturbance in the market. In the sense that the rules of the game are changing. Therefore, some kind of balance must be observed here. Most likely, the Central Bank understands that the rate should be lowered quickly, but not to do it in sharp jumps.

The rate cut will be a very serious signal for the ruble bond market, primarily for OFZ as the most active part. Because so far, the OFZ has already laid down a reduction in the rate, and with a good margin. But this margin was about the following: probably, the rate cut will last until the end of the year, somewhere by the end of the year it will be about 10%. Now, judging by the inflation data coming out, there are serious concerns that the rate cut will be much faster. This means that OFZ yields should also grow stronger. And after them, respectively, the yields on corporate bonds will also decrease. The same applies to deposit rates in banks, which are also likely to decline in the near future. Therefore, those who did not have time to take money to the bank and fix a high rate still have the opportunity to do so. As well as buying bonds, which, due to an accelerated rate cut, can win very much.

The Bank of Russia previously announced an unscheduled meeting of the Board of Directors at the key rate. It will take place on May 26. After the start of the special operation in Ukraine, the Central Bank sharply raised the rate — from 9.5% to 20%. The decision was explained by devaluation and inflation risks. The indicator remained at this level until April 8, when the regulator lowered it to 17%. On April 29, the decline was repeated — the rate was reduced to 14% per annum.

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