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    Central Bank deputy head forecasts 2006 inflation at 8.5%

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    MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - The first deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank said Monday inflation in Russia could be 8.5% in 2006.

    "In 2006, 8.5% inflation could become very tangible and rather achievable," Alexei Ulyukayev said, adding that 2006 federal budget expenses should remain unchanged.

    Ulyukayev also said the Central Bank would continue reducing the refinancing rate in line with inflation.

    He said last week the rate had been reduced from 13% to 12%.

    According to Ulyukayev, the standard refinancing rate should exceed inflation by 1%-1.5%.

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