31 Dec 2019 17:09

Russian inflation slowed to 3.0% in 2019 - Central Bank (Part 3)

MOSCOW. Dec 31 (Interfax) - Annual inflation in Russia slowed to 3.0% in December from 3.5% in November, according to a table posted on the Central Bank of Russia's website.

The CBR publishes data with reference to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) in this table. Rosstat itself published its annual inflation figures at 3:00 p.m. on December 31

This was the second time in 2019 that inflation figures appeared on the CBR's website before Rosstat officially published them. The first time was in June. Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin called for an inquiry into the reasons why the CBR published the figure before Rosstat did. Yevgeny Sychev, who had served for almost 20 years as head of the Rosstat's Main Inter-regional Center for the Processing and Dissemination of Statistical Data, resigned following the incident. "The publication of data about the level of inflation in June earlier than planned occurred through fault of one of the subordinate institutions that entered data into the Central Statistical Database before it had been finally approved. Since malfunctions of this nature had occurred in the past, a decision was reached to draft an end-to-end regulation for the publication of data. This makes it possible to lessen the likelihood of the unauthorized distribution of information and guarantee it can be fully verified," Rosstat said at the time.

This time, Rosstat told Interfax no information had been published on its site before 3:00 p.m. The CBR has not yet commented on the publication of figures in advance of the Rosstat publication.

The 3.0% inflation for 2019 is the second lowest on record. It was lower only in 2017, at 2.5%, following a record harvest. Inflation was 4.3% in 2018.

The Russian Economic Development Ministry is forecasting inflation of 3.0% in 2020 also. The Central Bank expects 3.5%-4.0%.