Hungary cuts to pre-IMF bailout levels

The National Bank of Hungary cut its benchmark central bank base rate by half a point from 8.5% to 8% on Monday, leaving the rate lower than before the International Monetary Fund's October bailout.

Justifying the move, the central bank said the decline in domestic demand had been worse than expected due to a sharp dip in firms' stocks and large-than-expected cutbacks in investment. Inflation was expected to move "substantially" below the central bank's 3% target in the latter half of 2010.

Howe

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