© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the Central Bank headquarters in Moscow January 30, 2015. REUTERS//
(Reuters) – Consumer inflation in Russia accelerated in April to 17.83% in year-on-year terms, its highest level since January 2002, data showed on Friday, as it got a boost from the volatile rouble and unprecedented western sanctions that disrupted logistics chains.
But monthly inflation slowed to 1.56% in April from 7.61% in March when it staged the biggest month-on-month increase since January 1999, data from the federal statistics service Rosstat showed.
Inflation in Russia has accelerated sharply after Russia began what it calls “a special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24.
The fall in the rouble to record lows in March boosted demand for a wide range of goods from food staples to cars on expectations that prices will rise even more. The rouble has recovered since and firmed to a near five-year high against the euro on Friday.
High inflation has been the key concern among households for years as it dents living standards, a fall which this year will be aggravated by a steep economic contraction.
The central bank targets inflation at 4% but expects it to reach 18-23% this year. But it has already cut its key rate to 14% after an emergency rate hike to 20% in late February and said it saw room for more monetary easing to help the economy.
Rosstat gave the following details:
RUSSIAN CPI April 22 March 22 April 21
Mth/mth pct change +1.56% +7.61 +0.58%
– food +2.87% +6.73 +0.75%
– non-food +0.53% +11.25 +0.66%
– services +1.07% +3.99 +0.22%
Y/Y pct change +17.83% +16.69 +5.53%
Core CPI y/y pct change +20.37% +18.69 +5.47%