Central Bank to take measures to curb inflation in 2003

The Russian Central Bank is going to bring inflation down to 9-12 percent in 2003, Central Bank Chairman Sergey Ignatyev announced at a State Duma meeting today. Inflation was 13.3 percent in the first eleven months of 2002 in Russia. The Central Bank's head reported that the basic guidelines of the state monetary policy for 2003 envisaged the maximum possible strengthening of the real effective ruble exchange rate within 4-6 percent and an about 20-26-percent rise in the money supply.

Ignatyev stressed that the Central Bank had for the first time set the middle-term target of the state monetary policy, which was to reduce inflation to below 8 percent over the next three years. Moreover, even if oil prices are significantly lower than expected, this situation will not be a big problem for the Central Bank as the latter envisaged measures to avoid an unexpected rise in inflation.

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