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Russia's Central Bank Cuts Key Interest Rate For Fourth Time In 2017

Russia's central bank says it has cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 8.5 percent, its fourth reduction this year.

The September 15 move comes amid record-low inflation in Russia, which is emerging from a recession driven by flagging oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict.

The bank said in a statement that inflation in the country is close to 4 percent while the economy keeps growing. During the next two quarters, the regulator "deems it possible to cut the key rate further," it said.

The bank said it would "continue to conduct moderately tight monetary policy" in order to keep inflation close to 4 percent.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told journalists on September 15 that the decision "reflects a steady decline in inflation expectations and their gradual consolidation at a low level."

The bank's board of directors will hold its next rate-review meeting on October 27.

Economic growth in Russia is expected to reach between 1.7 percent and 2.2 percent in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year, according to estimates by the central bank.

Based on reporting by Reuter, AFP, Interfax, and TASS