(Adds Nabiullina quote, detail)
ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 6 (Reuters) - Elvira Nabiullina, governor of the Russian central bank, said on Thursday that the key interest rate was now above the neutral range and that the bank has already said it was ready to consider cutting rates in the near future.
Speaking at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Nabiullina also said that monetary easing without much-needed structural reforms right now would not boost economic growth and could increase risks to financial stability and inflation.
“Our board meeting is next week and we are considering different options, including a rate cut,” she told Russian state television on the sidelines of the forum.
Analysts and economists from 22 banks and companies polled in late May by Reuters said they expected the key rate to be lowered to 7.50% from 7.75% at the central bank’s board meeting on June 14.
Last year Russia’s central bank twice increased rates to keep a lid on inflation and assuage pressure on the weak rouble. (Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Katya Golubkova; Additional reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya; Writing by Polina Ivanova and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Raissa Kasolowsky)