The Central Bank of Russia expects the real ruble rate to increase by 6% before the end of 2003, Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Oleg Vyugin declared at a news conference today. There were practically no fluctuations in the ruble rate in December 2002 and January 2003, he pointed out. According to Vyugin, the Central Bank intends to continue its policy of "controlled floatation" and is obliged not to allow any sharp fluctuations in the ruble rate in 2003. In his opinion, the currency market is balanced now. "We can foresee a 6% rate of strengthening of the ruble, and this forecast is largely based on the expectations of an increase in investments in Russia," Vyugin remarked.
The amount of transactions in US dollars still exceeds that for other currencies now. According to Vyugin, this is not only due to Russians' traditional preference for the dollar, but also the general situation in the global economy. For example, almost all contracts for supplies of the main raw materials (oil, gas, metals) are in dollars, Vyugin explained. He pointed out that 70% of all transactions in the global economy were made in dollars. In this connection, the prevalence of dollar transactions is natural for the Russian economy too, Vyugin underlined.