Russian central bank cuts key rate to 14 percent in hope to support struggling economy

MarketsAssociated Press

The Russian Central Bank has cut its key interest rate by one percentage point to 14 percent in an attempt to boost the struggling economy.

The central bank said in a statement Friday it cut the rate because "the balance of risks has shifted in the direction of a more significant cooling of the economy" and said it was careful not to exacerbate inflation, which reduced in February.

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The Central Bank predicts Russia's GDP will decline by between 3.5 and 4 percent this year.

The second interest rate cut in as many months continues the Central Bank's reversal of the sharp overnight interest rate rise from 10.5 to 17 percent that it carried out in December to preserve the value of the then-collapsing ruble.