MOSCOW, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Russian annual inflation will not exceed 3 percent this year and will speed up in the first half of 2018 but remain close to the central bank’s 4 percent target, the regulator said on Friday.
Inflation is closely watched by the central bank as its decisions on monetary policy are based on the pace of consumer prices growth.
Inflation has slowed more than expected this year, the central bank said in a monthly report on consumer prices, attributing the slowdown to a stronger rouble and strong agricultural harvest.
In October, annual inflation slowed to 2.7 percent from 3.0 percent a month earlier, which the central bank said is considered to be close to its ultimate target of 4 percent.
The central bank is widely expected to trim its key rate from 8.25 percent at its next rate meeting in mid-December.
Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Jack Stubbs