April 9, 2018 / 8:07 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Kazakh cenbank sees 2018 inflation below 5-7 pct range

(Adds context, changes dateline to Almaty)

ALMATY, April 9 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan’s central bank expects inflation to slow in 2018 to below the lower boundary of its 5-7 percent target range, it said on Monday, increasing the possibility of a cut to interest rates next week.

“There is a high likelihood of a significant slowdown in inflation and it going below the lower boundary of the target corridor of 5-7 percent for 2018,” the central bank said in a statement.

The regulator will review its policy rate, currently 9.5 percent, on April 16. It has cut the rate twice this year by a total of 75 basis points.

Annual inflation in the oil-rich Central Asian nation accelerated to 6.6 percent in March from 6.5 percent in February. But the central bank said it could slow later this year because of low inflation in countries with which Kazakhstan trades, weak domestic consumption and low global food prices. (Reporting by Mariya Gordeyeva Writing by Olzhas Auyezov Editing by David Goodman)

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