Based on its assessment of recent economic and financial developments, the Monetary Council has lowered the central bank base rate by 50 basis points, from 9.50% to 9.00%. The decision will take effect from 22 January 2002. The reduction in the central bank base rate is in line with the NBH's inflation targets of 4.5%±1% and 3.5%±1% respectively for end-2002 and end-2003.