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Post-Soviet low for annual Russian inflation in September

(Adds detail) MOSCOW, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Russian consumer price growth slowed to a post-Soviet low of 3.0 percent year-on-year in September, data from the Federal Statistics Service showed on Thursday. The slowdown also brings it further below the central bank's ultimate target of 4 percent. Analysts and economists were sceptical about the central bank's ability to rein in inflation, especially when annual inflation hovered near 17 percent in early 2015. But as the impact of a rapid rouble devaluation seen in 2014 and 2015 has faded, inflation has been on a downward path. This year, inflation was pressured by the central bank's tight monetary policy and a sound harvest that sent prices for food, one of the key components of the headline inflation, into deflationary territory. In the first nine months of this year an accumulated increase in the consumer price index reached 1.7 percent compared with 4.1 percent in the same period of 2016. Though low inflation speaks for a looser monetary policy, the central bank said it would trim interest rates slowly in order not to spur inflation expectations. The central bank, which last cut the key rate to 8.5 percent in September, is due to have another rate-setting meeting in late October. In monthly terms, Russia recorded a deflation rate of 0.1 percent in September after 0.5 percent deflation in the preceding month, data showed. Analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected consumer price index to increase by 3.1 percent in annual terms in September and to inch 0.1 percent higher in monthly terms.

Rosstat gave the following details:

RUSSIAN CPI Sept 17 Aug 17 Sept 16 Mth/mth pct change -0.1 -0.5 +0.2 - food -0.7 -1.8 -0.1 - non-food +0.3 +0.1 +0.6 - services +0.1 +0.4 +0.1 Y/Y pct change +3.0 +3.3 +6.4 Core CPI y/y pct change +2.8 +3.0 +6.7

NOTE - For key Russian indicators click here.

(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Jermey Gaunt)