Russia: After rising to the highest level since 2002 in March, inflation eases in April
May 6, 2015
In April, consumer prices rose 0.5% over the previous month, which was less than half the 1.2% increase tallied in March. The print, which undershot the 0.7% increase the markets had expected, represented the third consecutive month of moderation and the slowest monthly rise in eight months. April’s easing mainly reflected a moderation in prices for food and non-food products, while services prices remained broadly unchanged over the previous month.
Annual headline inflation fell from 16.9% in March to 16.4% in April, which also undershot the 16.7% the markets had expected. April’s result marked the first fall in inflation since July of last year and is likely to be welcoming news for Russian monetary authorities, which had cut interest rates three times so far this year in order to support an economy that is entering into its first recession in six years. At the moment, inflation remains well above the Russian Central Bank’s 4.5% inflation target. However, in its last monetary policy statement, the Central Bank said that it expects inflation to fall more rapidly than previously estimated and sees it falling below 8.0% in 2016 and hit its 4.0% target for 2017.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist