Russia cuts interest rate for 6th time in 2017

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The Russian central bank Friday lowered its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 7.75 percent, the sixth reduction this year amid low inflation.

More cuts are possible as Governor of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina said last month that the bank may slash the rate step-by-step to six or seven percent over the next one or two years.

Annual inflation stood at 2.5 percent as of Dec. 11 and it was expected to reach 3 percent at the year-end and draw near 4 percent by late 2018, the bank said in a statement Friday.

The central bank kept its forecast for GDP growth this year at 1.7-2.2 percent.

In a September report the bank estimated GDP growth to slow down to 1.0-1.5 percent for a short period in 2018. On Friday it said the growth will not exceed 1.5-2.0 next year.

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