Russia's inflation seen at 20%, GDP down 8% in 2022, survey shows

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March 10 (Reuters) - Inflation in Russia is forecast to accelerate to 20% and its economy could fall by as much as 8% this year, an independent survey of analysts requested by the central bank showed on Thursday.

According to 18 economists polled by the Russian central bank between March 1 and 9, the average key rate this year is forecast at 18.9%, it said in a statement.

"A significant revision of consensus estimates reflects a drastic change in economic conditions over the past two weeks," Deputy Central Bank Governor Alexei Zabotkin said in a separate statement.

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"Measures taken by the Bank of Russia and the government are aimed at limiting the scale of economic downturn and at avoiding a prolonged period of high inflation."

Annual consumer inflation reached 10.42% as of March 4, as the rouble touched it historic lows following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, followed by harsh Western sanctions which cut off the central bank and banks from the global financial system.

The Russian central bank raised its key interest rate to 20% from 9.5% in an emergency move last week, introduced capital controls and told its export-focused companies to sell foreign currency as the rouble tumbled to record lows. read more

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Reporting by Reuters; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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