30 Sep 2009 16:16

Russia has zero inflation for fourth week running

MOSCOW. Sept 30 (Interfax) - Russia had zero inflation for the week September 22-28 for the fourth week running, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) said.

This marks the sixth week in a row that prices have not increased: Russia had zero inflation from September 15-21, 8-14 and 1-7 following 0.1% deflation from August 25-31 and zero inflation from August 18-24. The deflation and zero inflation can above all be attributed to a seasonal decline in fruit and vegetable prices.

Russia could see zero inflation for all of September, just like in August, Rosstat said. The last time prices did not increase in September was 1997, when they fell 0.3%. Rosstat will publish final data on inflation in September next week.

Consumer prices have risen 8.1% since the start of the year. In 2008, inflation totaled 0.8% over the first 28 days of September, 0.8% for September as a whole and 10.6% from January 1 to September 28.

Among foods, egg prices rose 0.3%, while the cost of chicken, buckwheat and dry milk mixtures for baby food increased 0.2%. Granulated sugar and frozen fish prices fell 0.5%, while the cost of millet, flour and sunflower oil declined 0.2%-0.3%.

Fruit and vegetable prices fell by 2.3% on average in the period. The cost of onions, cabbage, onions, carrots and potatoes declined 3.2%-4.5%.

Gasoline prices grew 0.1% in Russia over the week, while diesel prices remained at last week's level.

The Economic Development Ministry's revised forecast is for inflation of 11%-12% in 2009. Analysts told Interfax in a consensus forecast at the end of September that they thought inflation this year will equal 10.9%.

Russia had 13.3% inflation in 2008, the highest yearly rate since the 15.1% recorded in 2002.