Russian inflation slows in April

4th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Inflation in Russia slowed in April from March, but the rate was still higher than in the same period last year, the state statistics agency said Wednesday.

In April, consumer prices grew by 0.4 percent, a slower pace than in March, which saw inflation of 0.6 percent. But the price rises were higher than in April 2010, when they increased by 0.3 percent.

Inflation in the first four months of the year was measured at 4.3 percent, up from 3.5 percent in the same period last year.

The Russian government has predicted that inflation over 2011 will be between 6.5 and 7.5 percent.

But food prices have risen steeply in recent months, partly due to last August's heatwave and drought. The authorities have been forced to take steps to curb domestic prices, including a ban on grain exports.

On Tuesday, the Russian central bank raised its main interest rate for the second time this year, after an initial raise in February, responding to concerns over higher than predicted inflation.

The overall cost of a basket of basic foodstuffs fell slightly in April, by 0.2 percent, to 2,840.4 roubles ($104.34). But this still represents a rise of 8.2 percent from the beginning of the year.

© 2011 AFP

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