Russia: Inflation hits 13-year high in February
March 5, 2015
Consumer prices increased 2.20% in February over the previous month, which came in below the 3.90% rise observed in January. The result, which was on par with market expectations, marked the slowest increase in consumer prices since November 2014. The monthly increase continued to reflect a weak ruble and higher food prices as a result of the food imports’ restriction that the Russian government had imposed in early August in retaliation to the sanctions imposed on the country over the crisis in Ukraine.
As a result of the monthly increase, annual inflation climbed from 15.0% in January to 16.7% in February, which marked the highest level since March 2002. Inflation in Russia has been fuelled by the sharp weakening of the Russian ruble.
At the current rate, inflation remains well above the Russian Central Bank’s 4.5% inflation target. Russia is likely to continue experiencing rising inflation in the coming months due to the Russian embargo on food imports from some Western countries. In addition, the ruble’s sharp depreciation will continue having a significant impact on inflation and inflation expectation in the first half of 2015.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist