Interest Rates Might Fall

The Central Bank will stay its hand in the first quarter of 2013, seeking confirmation that inflation is slowing before it eases interest rates to revive a slowing economy, a poll of 19 economists shows.

The survey predicted that the economy would grow 3.2 percent in 2013, down from an expected 3.6 percent this year and far short of pre-crisis expansion rates of about 7 percent a year.

Russia's economy has withstood the global slowdown this year thanks to a spike in government expenditures before President Vladimir Putin's election in March, while prices for its key export, oil, have stayed over $100 per barrel.

However, international economists and local think tanks point to the vulnerability of Russia's $1.9 trillion economy, as its commodity dependence has only increased since Putin first became president in 2000.

(Reuters)

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