Hungary central bank leaves door open to further easing

BUDAPEST Tue May 27, 2014 9:16am EDT

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BUDAPEST May 27 (Reuters) - Hungary's central bank left the door open for further cautious monetary easing on Tuesday after it cut interest rates by 10 basis points to a record low of 2.4 percent, in line with most analyst forecasts.

The rate-setting Monetary Council said in a statement that it would decide "on the need and possibility of reducing the base rate further" after assessing the economic outlook and inflation projections in the bank's fresh inflation report due to be published in June.

The bank, which has cut its main rate in 22 consecutive monthly steps from a peak of 7 percent in August 2012, said inflationary pressures were expected to remain moderate in the medium term.

"The negative output gap is expected to close gradually at the policy horizon; however, achieving price stability in the medium term points in the direction of monetary easing," the Council said in its statement. (Reporting by Krisztina Than and Gergely Szakacs)

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