Russia: Inflation jumps to highest level since 2002
April 6, 2015
In March, consumer prices rose 1.2% over the previous month, which came in below the 2.2% increase observed in February. The result, which overshot the 1.0% increase the markets had expected, marked a second consecutive moderation in the monthly increase of consumer prices. March’s print reflected a slowdown in the increase of both food prices and non-food prices, mainly due to the gradual cooling of the economy, which is acting as a brake on inflation.
Despite the moderation on a monthly basis, annual headline inflation crept up from 16.7% in February to 16.9% in March, which slightly overshot the 16.8% increase the markets had anticipated and represented the highest level since February 2002. At the current rate, inflation remains well above the Russian Central Bank’s 4.5% inflation target.
Inflation is expected to reach its peak in the second quarter this year due to effects of the ruble’s sharp depreciation and Russian embargo on food imports from some Western countries.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist