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    Russian Finance Minister: Central Bank to Follow Inflation in Lowering Rates

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    Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Tuesday he was confident that the Bank of Russia would lower key interest rates on the heels of inflation.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier, the Russian State Duma adopted the law adjusting the main indices of the federal budget for 2016, setting the level of the budget deficit at 3.7 percent of GDP (3,034 trillion rubles), while the initial rate was 3 percent of GDP.

    In mid-October, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the deficit was likely to exceed 3.7 percent. The Russian economy suffered a setback in 2014, as the ruble lost about half of its value against the US dollar amid low global oil prices and Western economic sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.

    "We are lately living under high rates of inflation. Respectively, the key rate is high too. We are now reducing inflation, and the rate will be reduced," Siluanov said at the Third International Financial University Forum dubbed "The Trap of the 'New Normal'."

    The Central Bank reduced the interest rate by 0.5 percent to 10 percent in September, citing the declining inflation rate, and maintained the rate in October.

    "The main task for us is to overcome this moment, then we will have similar low interest rates as in Western countries," Siluanov stressed.

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