* Central bank sees current account in deficit by 2015
* Capital outflow to disappear by 2014, seen at $65 bln in 2012
* Balance of payments faces risks from oil price, global sentiment
* Inflation seen at 5-6 pct in 2013, 4-5 pct in 2014-15
* GDP growth seen at 3.7 pct in 2013
(Adds analyst comments) By Jason Bush
MOSCOW, Oct 3 - Russia's central bank expects the country's current account surplus to disappear by 2015 and hopes that will be offset by a slower outflow of capital, keeping the currency market stable, according to its mid-term monetary strategy.
A slide in the current account surplus, which measures the excess of earnings from foreign trade and investments over equivalent outgoings, increases risks to the rouble and economic growth.
"In the case of Russia, there has been a steady net outflow of capital over the past couple of years, which calls into question its ability to run any kind of current account deficit," said Neil Shearing, chief emerging market economist at Capital Economics, a consultancy in London.
"So something has to give: either oil prices would have to keep rising, or domestic demand would have to fall, or the rouble would have to fall a long, long way, or Russia would really have to clean up its business environment and make massive progress on structural reforms."
But the central bank predicted that a decrease in capital flight from Russia - which it acknowledged would depend on investor sentiment and how the global economy developed - would mitigate the risks, reducing the demand for foreign currency and keeping the overall balance of payments stable.
The document, submitted to parliament this week, offers insights into the bank's thinking as it reorients monetary policy away from managing the rouble exchange rate to targeting inflation in the world's ninth-largest economy.
Reducing inflation, now over 6 percent, is crucial to enabling Russia to pull off the transition from oil-fuelled consumption to investment-led growth.
The central bank's focus on the country's external accounts reflects their importance for inflation. But its strategy had little to say about domestic factors such as inflation expectations and the economy's output potential.
This suggests it is still heavily influenced by its traditional role as custodian of the rouble - a mindset that may need to shift as low inflation replaces rouble stability as the main policy objective.
In its central oil price scenario, based on the government's forecasts, the central bank sees the current account surplus shrinking to $25.2 billion in 2013 - from a forecast surplus of $79.9 billion in 2012 - and becoming an $8.8 billion deficit in 2015, as imports grow faster than exports.
However, it expected that capital outflows would also decline sharply, to $10 billion in 2013 from $65 billion this year, with an inflow of $15 billion in 2015, allowing Russia to continue accumulating foreign exchange reserves.
"If we get a turnaround on the capital account that's very positive, and I'm not too worried about the current account (surplus) becoming smaller," said Clemens Grafe, chief Russia economist at Goldman Sachs. But he added that a surplus, while conceivable, was not a factor over which the central bank had much control.
The central bank also reiterated its aim of reducing inflation to 5 percent or lower and managing interest rates more tightly, while allowing the rouble to fluctuate more freely.
It would aim over the next three years to narrow the spread between the central bank's deposit and lending rates and, in addition to one-day repo operations now used predominantly to manage liquidity, would make greater use of one-day currency swaps, precious metal swaps and one-week repo operations to keep market rates close to the centre of its rates corridor.
The central bank forecast that gross domestic product would grow by 3.7 percent in 2013, assuming the oil price averages $97 per barrel, though the economy would shrink by 0.4 percent were the oil price instead to average $73.
In 2014 and 2015, growth could be anywhere between 2 and 5 percent, depending on the oil price, the central bank said.
Economists polled by Reuters last month forecast 3.6 percent GDP growth in 2013. The Economy Ministry forecasts GDP growth of 3.5 percent this year.
Below is a table of key forecasts in the central bank's monetary policy strategy for 2013-15 (figures in billions of dollars unless otherwise stated).
Urals Current Net Change Total Growth Inflation oil account private in reserves in gross target price surplus sector foreign (year domestic (change ($ per capital exchange end)* product in CPI, barrel) outflow reserves (pct) pct) 2012 109 79.9 65.0 15 505 2013 73 7.0 35.0 (25.2) 480 (0.4) 5-6 97 25.2 10.0 18.0 523 3.7 5-6 121 88.3 0.0 91.5 597 4.0 5-6 2014 76 (1.4) 15.0 (14.3) 466 4-5 101 14.7 0.0 16.8 540 4-5 126 77.8 (5.0) 85.2 682 4-5 2015 78 (18.6) 10 (26.1) 440 4-5 104 (8.8) (15.0) 8.7 549 4-5 130 51.8 (20.0) 73.3 755 4-5
*Forecasts for the high, low and medium oil price scenarios are cumulative.
(Writing by Jason Bush; Additional reporting by Maya Dyakina and Maria Tsvetkova; Editing by Douglas Busvine, Ruth Pitchford)
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