Monday, the Hungarian central bank left the key policy rate unchanged for the third month in a row. The decision came in line with economists' expectations.

The Monetary Council of Magyar Nemzeti Bank left the key policy rate stable at 9.5%. In January, the central bank had reduced the base rate by 50 basis points.

The Hungarian economy is in recession. The gross domestic product declined 1.2% sequentially in the fourth quarter of 2008, after shrinking 0.5% in the third quarter. The country had received around $26 billion from international aid agencies last year.

Meanwhile, inflation eased slightly to 2.9% in March from 3% in February.

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