May 1, 2019 / 8:59 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Georgian central bank leaves refinancing rate at 6.5 pct

(Adds details, context)

TBILISI, May 1 (Reuters) - Georgia’s central bank kept its refinancing rate at 6.5 percent on Wednesday, citing forecasts that suggest annual inflation will stay close to its 3 percent target this year.

The central bank had cut the rate to 6.75 percent in January and to 6.50 percent in March.

Annual inflation in March stood at 3.7 percent, up from 2.3 percent in February. Month by month, prices rose 1 percent in March after climbing 0.3 percent in February.

The central bank said that the increase in annual inflation in March was a one-time event caused by the increase in excise taxes.

“According to current forecasts, with other things being equal, annual inflation will be around the target level of 3 percent,” the bank said in a statement.

The bank plans to ease interest rates towards 5 to 6 percent over the next two years, central bank Governor Koba Gvenetadze told Reuters in January.

The bank is due to hold its next policy meeting on June 12. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; editing by Larry King)

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