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Financial News: Russia Central Bank Slashes Key Interest Rate, Signals

Russia Central Bank Slashes Key Interest Rate, Signals More Easing

06/14/2019 - 07:16:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Russia's central bank cut the key interest rate on Friday, in line with its earlier guidance, after leaving it unchanged for three policy sessions in a row and hinted at more reduction in future.

The Board of Directors decided to cut the key rate by 25 basis points to 7.50 percent, the Bank of Russia said in a statement. While annual inflation is slowing, expectations remain elevated, the bank said. However, short-term pro-inflationary risks have abated compared to March, the bank added.

The central bank expects growth to remain below its expectations in the first half of the year.

Citing these circumstances, the Bank of Russia trimmed the end-of-the-year annual inflation forecast for 2019 to 4.7-5.2 percent from 4.2-4.7 percent. The bank continues to expect annual inflation to stay close to 4 percent. "If the situation develops in line with the baseline forecast, the Bank of Russia admits the possibility of further key rate reduction at one of the upcoming Board of Directors' meetings and a transition to neutral monetary policy until mid-2020," the bank said.

The central bank also cut its GDP growth forecast for 2019 to 1.0-1.5 percent from 1.2-1.7 percent.

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