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Russian inflation accelerates at fastest monthly rate since April 2022

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© FILE PHOTO: Bottles of Coca Cola imported from China and other soft drinks containers are displayed for sale at a supermarket in Vladivostok, Russia, February 17, 2023. REUTERS/Tatiana Meel

() – Inflation in Russia accelerated in September at its fastest month-on-month pace since April 2022, when double-digit price rises gripped Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, data from the state statistics service Rosstat showed on Wednesday.

The Bank of Russia has made successive rate hikes to 13%, with the weakening rouble adding to inflationary pressure from a tight labour market and strong consumer demand. Analysts expect the bank to increase the cost of borrowing again this month.

In September, annual inflation stood at 6.00% year-on-year, up from 5.15% a month earlier and slightly above the 5.8% predicted in a poll. The central bank targets inflation at 4%.

On a monthly basis, the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.87% in September after a 0.28% increase in August, the data showed, coming below analysts’ expectations of a 0.7% increase. That was the fastest monthly increase in 17 months.

Weekly consumer prices rose 0.24% in the week to Oct. 9, Rosstat said in a separate set of data.

The central bank sees inflation ending this year at 6.0%-7.0%.

Russian households regularly cite inflation as a key concern, with many having no savings after a decade of economic crises, while rising prices dragged living standards down across the country.

Rosstat gave the following details:

RUSSIAN CPI Sept 23 Aug 23 Sept 22

Mth/mth pct change +0.87 +0.28 +0.05

– food +0.86 -0.06 -0.38

– non-food +1.09 +1.14 +0.15

– services +0.61 -0.32 +0.51

Y/Y pct change +6.00 +5.15 +13.68

Core CPI y/y pct change +4.40 +3.95 +17.11

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