Russian c.bank analysts confident inflation would reach 4 pct target in 2017

MOSCOW, July 12 (Reuters) - Russian inflation is set to slow to the central bank's 4 percent target by the end of the year but inflation pressure could rise in the first half of 2018 because of poor harvest of 2017, analysts at the central bank said on Wednesday.

In a monthly report on market trends, analysts at the central bank said inflation could exceed 4 percent in the first quarter of 2018 if the bank's monetary policy fails to slowdown prices for goods and services.

The central bank said gross domestic product is on track to grow by at least 1.5 percent this year should external conditions remain unchanged, while prices for Russia's Urals crude blend <URL-E> are seen averaging $49-50 per barrel.

The central bank's analysts also said that so far this year the Russian financial market proved to be resistant to a negative newsflow related to sanctions against Russia as well as negative external conditions. (Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh)