10 Nov 2010 16:13

Inflation in Russia quickens to 0.2% Nov 2-8 - Rosstat

MOSCOW. Nov 10 (Interfax) - Inflation in Russia quickened to 0.2% in the week November 2-8 after holding at 0.1% for the previous four weeks, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) said on Wednesday.

From January 1 to November 8 inflation was 7%. It was 0.1% for the first week of November last year, 0.3% for the month as a whole, and 8.2% from Jan 1 to Nov 8.

Annual inflation had increased to 7.6% by Nov 8 - from 7.5% at the end of October, 7% at end-September, and 6.1% at end-August.

Rosstat's figures indicate that for the week Nov 2-8 wheat became 3.4% more costly (4.2% more the previous week), sunflower oil 1.5% more (1.3%), buckwheat 1.2% more (1.2%), dairy butter 0.6% more (0.5%), milk 0.6% more (0.4%), rye bread 0.3% more (0.1%), and wheat bread 0.2% more (0.1%).

Fruit and vegetable prices were up 0.8% for the week on average (0.7% the previous week), with potatoes, onions, and cabbage rising 1.0%-1.6% in price. Gasoline and diesel fuel prices were up 0.3% (0.2%) and 1.4% (0.8%), respectively.

In October, inflation slowed slightly to 0.5% from 0.8% in September, but November-December price growth could pick up speed due to seasonal factors such as rising fruit and vegetable prices, increasing government spending, and an expanding money supply.

It its most recent message on maintaining the refinancing rate at the end of October, the Central Bank said it was observing a gradual easing of inflationary expectations prompted by prices surging for certain fruit and vegetable groups. The CB said it reckoned that inflationary risks, given the present monetary circumstances, are now at an acceptable level.

An Interfax consensus forecast for inflation compiled at end-October produced a figure for this year of 8.3%. The Economic Development Ministry hiked its own inflation forecast in August to 7%-8% from 6%-7% for 2010 and 6%-7% from 5.5%-6.5% for 2011.

Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin, who is also the country's finance minister, said in mid-October that inflation could top the official 8% forecast by 0.1-0.2 of a percentage point.

Director of the CB's financial-market operations department Sergei Shvetsov said late last month that the Bank thinks inflation this year will not fall outside the 8%-8.5% range.