WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The National Bank of Poland has cut interest rates to a historic low as the economy continues to slow and inflation is below target.

The central bank cut its benchmark reference rate to 3 percent from 3.5 percent on Wednesday, surprising many economists who had expected the bank to keep rates on hold for now.

The bank didn't give an immediate explanation for the move. However, when it made its last rate cut two months ago, it cited a marked economic slowdown in the country.

The European Commission has forecast economic growth of 1.2 percent for this year, which would be the lowest rate of growth for Poland since 2001.