MOSCOW, April 12 (Reuters) - Russian inflation could fall below 4 percent in April-May, but inflation pressure in the second half of the year could make it difficult to keep inflation near the central bank's target in 2018, analysts at the Russian central bank said on Wednesday.
The analysts also said in a report that the current balance of inflation risks allowed for a gradual reduction of the central bank's key rate.
The central bank should be careful with lowering the key rate to keep inflation near 4 percent in 2018-2019, and Russian gross domestic product could grow by 2 percent this year, they added. Next key rate policy meeting is set for April 28.
The opinions expressed by the analysts do not necessarily reflect the official position of the central bank. (Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya and Alexander Winning; editing by Katya Golubkova)