26 Jan 2011 16:19

Russian inflation slows to 0.4% in past week - Rosstat

MOSCOW. Jan 26 (Interfax) - Russian inflation slowed to 0.4% in the week January 18-24, from 0.6% the previous week and 0.8% in the first 11 days of January, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) said.

Inflation is 1.8% so far this month.

But price growth is higher than a year ago: inflation was 0.5% for January 19-25, 2010 and 1.7% for the first 25 days of that month. Based on last January's prices, the government forecast inflation of 6.5%-7.5% for the year, however prices ultimately rose 8.8%, as in 2009.

This year's target of 7% of below is even more ambitious. Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina forecast on January 20 that inflation might be 2.1%-2.3% this month alone.

Inflation is usually high in the month of January, when service charges usually go up. Also, budget spending increases in the month of December. Inflation was 1.6% in January 2010 as a whole.

The biggest price growth in the past week was 3.6% for buckwheat, 2.3% for millet, 1.9% for granulated sugar, 1.4% for beef and 0.7%-1% for selected types of bread, tvorog, milk drinks and sunflower oil.

Fruit and vegetables averaged up 2.2% in price, with growth of 3.3% for cabbage and 2.4%-2.8% for potatoes, onion and carrots.

Gasoline went up 1.3% and diesel went up 1.6%.

Cold water supply and waste-water disposal charges rose 3%, and hot water and heating charges went up 2.6% and 2.4%, respectively.

The high January inflation in Russia gives the Central Bank grounds to put its rates up, CB Chairman Sergei Ignatyev told reporters.

"We plan to discuss this issue at a meeting of the board of directors in the last few days of January, probably January 31," Ignatyev said.