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US dollar back to pre-crisis low

Published time: April 11, 2011 15:15
Edited time: April 11, 2011 23:28

The US dollar has dropped to its lowest level against the Russian ruble since the onset of the financial crisis.

April 11 saw the value of the US dollar dip below 28 rubles for the first time in over two years.

The lowest it was traded on the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange was 27.98 rubles. For April 12, the Russian Central Bank set the rate for 27.97.

The last time the dollar was this low was back in December 2008. Shortly after that, during the peak of the crisis, the dollar’s value was as much as 36.35 rubles.

Recently, the ruble has strengthened due to high oil prices – $112 per barrel, which is the highest price for oil in the last 2.5 years.

Financial experts predict that the change could be a double-edged sword if it continues.

“A strong ruble has a two-sided effect on the economy,” Nikolay Podlevskikh, an analyst at Zurich Capital Management, told RT. “On the one hand, it increases investment, though this is short lived and can be due to speculative transactions. On the other hand, it’s bad news for production at home, which becomes more expensive than the cheaper imports from the likes of China.”

According to the Ministry of Economic Development, the forecast is quite optimistic – at least regarding the currency. For the next three years, the average currency exchange against the dollar is going to be stable: in 2012 and 2013, it will be at 27.90.

The level of inflation, meanwhile, will decrease from 7.5 percent this year to as low as 4 percent in 2013. Exports and industrial production are set to grow as well.