(Adds details, central bank statement)
TBILISI, July 25 (Reuters) - Georgia’s central bank said it cut its key refinancing rate to 7 percent from 7.25 percent on Wednesday, citing forecasts suggesting that annual inflation would stay close to its 3 percent target this year.
The rate was unchanged since December last year, when the central bank raised it to 7.25 percent from 7 percent.
Central bank chief Koba Gvenetadze told Reuters in February that it would return to monetary policy easing “after some period of time.”
“The monetary policy rate easing had been conducted slower than predicted earlier,” a bank statement said on Wednesday.
Annual consumer prices rose 2.2 percent in June, down from 2.5 percent in May this year and 7.1 percent in June 2017.
Month-by-month prices in Georgia were down 0.6 percent in June compared with May, when they were unchanged.
“According to current forecasts, annual inflation will be around the target level of 3 percent throughout the year,” the bank statement said.
The bank is due to hold its next policy meeting on Sept. 5. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze Editing by Mark Heinrich)