The central bank of Georgia cuts its benchmark refinancing rate by 25 basis points to 5.5 percent to support economic activity with the inflation rate expected to remain below the bank's target. The National Bank of Georgia, which has cut rates by 100 basis points this year, noted that inflation in October rose an annual 0.1 percent, up from minus 0.10 percent in September, and inflation forecasts have been reduced. The central bank also said that preliminary data showed a weakening of demand in October, which would push prices further down, along with fiscal consolidation that will continue next year. "Given that the inflation is predicted to remain below the target in the medium term, the National Bank of Georgia decided to reduce the Monetary Policy Rate," the bank said after a meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee. Georgia's economy expanded by an annual 7.3 percent in the third quarter, down from 8.2 percent in the second quarter. The current account deficit widened in the first half of the year and continued to worsen in the third quarter due to lower growth in remittances, which is affected by Europe's weak economy, the bank said. The National Bank of Georgia targets annual inflation of 6.0 percent. In 2011 inflation fell to 2.0 percent from 11.2 percent in 2010.
updated Nov 21, 2012
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