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Russia cuts key rate by 50 basis points amid falling inflation

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation lowered its key rate by 50 basis points to 6.5% and signaled further rate cuts in the future due to a slowdown in inflation.

The central bank said annual inflation matched its target in September, falling to 4.0% from 4.3% in August, and was close to 3.8% as of Oct. 21.

"Inflation slowdown is overshooting the forecast," the bank said in a statement. "Dis-inflationary risks exceed pro-inflationary risks over the short-term horizon."

The bank lowered its annual inflation forecast for 2019 to a range of 3.2% to 3.7%, from a previous forecast range of 4.0% to 4.5%.

"If the situation develops in line with the baseline forecast, the Bank of Russia will consider the necessity of further key rate reduction at one of the upcoming Board of Directors' meetings," the central bank said.

Annual inflation was projected to come in between 3.5% and 4% in 2020. However, the central bank said that pro-inflationary risks remain in the longer term.

The bank left its GDP growth forecast for 2019-2022 unchanged. It expects the Russian economy to expand by 0.8% to 1.3% this year, and by 2% to 3% in 2022.