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Russia records marginal weekly deflation ahead of rate-setting meeting -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A Russian customer gives Russian rouble coins and banknotes to a vendor in Omsk on October 29, 2021. REUTERS

(Reuters) – Russia’s first weekly deflation since August 2021 was recorded on Wednesday. This data came a day ahead of an unusual rate-setting meeting, which the central bank intends to hold on Thursday.

Inflation spiked at 2.22% weekly in March after Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine. However, it has been slowly declining since February 24, capped off by an impressive recovery of the rouble.

According to Rosstat statistics, the CPI fell 0.02% in week ending May 20 after increasing 0.05% the week before.

The economy ministry reported that inflation decreased to 17.51% annually from 17.69% just a week before.

Polina Kryuchkova, Deputy Economy Ministry said that it was important to start… lending again in the corporate and consumer sectors. She also stated that Russia required timely monetary policies.

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She made the comment shortly after the central banks announced that it will hold an off-schedule session on Thursday. It is widely believed it will lower its key interest rate to 14%.

CentroCreditBank analyst said, “We wouldn’t surprise if central banks lowers the keyrate by 300 basis points or to 11%.”

Rosstat stated that so far in 2018, Russian consumer prices rose by 11.82%.

In recent weeks, almost all prices, including vegetables, sugar, clothes, and smartphones have gone up sharply due to Russia’s logistics problems and volatility in its rouble.

The annual inflation rate has increased to 17.83% since April 2002, the highest level since January 2002. Inflation is controlled by the central bank at 4%. The annual consumer price increase was expected to rise to 18-23% for the entire of 2022, according to the central banking.

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, stated Wednesday that inflation would not surpass 15% for this year.