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Russian central bank delivers 5th straight rate cut amid inflation slowdown

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation reduced its key rate by 25 basis points to 6.25%, delivering its fifth rate cut in a row, as a slowdown in consumer price growth continued to overshoot projections.

Annual inflation eased to 3.5% in November from 3.8% in October, while core inflation also slowed to 3.5% from 3.7%.

The central bank now expects inflation to be in the range of 2.9% to 3.2% at the end of 2019, down from a range of 3.2% to 3.7% projected in October. However, it maintained its inflation forecast range of 3.5% to 4.0% for 2020.

The bank kept its economic growth forecasts unchanged, projecting a GDP expansion in the range of 0.8% to 1.3% for 2019 and an increase of 2% to 3% for 2022.

"If the situation develops in line with the baseline forecast, the Bank of Russia will consider the necessity of further key rate reduction in the first half of 2020," the central bank said.