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Russian annual inflation at 6.5% as of July 19 -economy ministry

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s annual inflation slightly slowed to 6.5% as of July 19, from 6.56% as of July 12, the economy ministry said on Wednesday, two days before the central bank’s rate-setting meeting.

The bank, which hiked rates to 5.5% at its meeting last month, is widely expected to raise rates again on Friday, with a Reuters poll on Monday showing market expectations leaning towards a 100 basis point hike, to 6.5%.

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