(Adds c.bank statement, background)
TBILISI Dec 14 Georgia's central bank kept its
key refinancing rate unchanged at 6.5 percent on Wednesday after
a series of cuts, as the country struggles with falling exports
and an expanding current account deficit.
The bank said the decision had been based on macroeconomic
forecasts and the fact that the "factors influencing on
inflation from demand are weak".
Inflation in the South Caucasus nation stood at 0.2 percent
year-on-year in November, down from 6.3 percent the same month a
year ago, and well within the 5 percent limit set by the
government for 2016.
External shocks and a planned rise in excise tax in 2017
would boost consumer prices, though not for long, the central
The bank's monetary policy committee, which cut rates in
April, June, July, September and October this year, will hold
its next meeting on Jan. 25, 2017.
Growth has been slowing in the former Soviet republic, hit
by a plunge in the Russian rouble and a drop in
remittances from overseas.
Exports fell 5 percent year-on-year to $1.920 billion in the
January-November period, while the current account deficit
expanded by 44 percent to $6.991 billion.
The lari's official rate hit an all-time low of 2.6599 to
the dollar on Wednesday, down from 2.6154 on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Margarita Antidze; editing by Maria Kiselyova)