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Russian consumer prices rose as rouble tumbled past 100 vs dollar -Rosstat

Published 08/16/2023, 12:14 PM
Updated 08/16/2023, 12:16 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view shows U.S. one-dollar and Russian 100-rouble banknotes in this illustration picture taken August 14, 2023. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) - Russia's weekly consumer prices rose as the rouble's tumble past 100 to the dollar added to already high inflationary pressure, data from the state statistics service Rosstat showed on Wednesday.

The Bank of Russia hiked its key interest rate by 350 basis points to 12% on Tuesday, following on from a 100-basis-point increase just over three weeks earlier, in an effort to support the battered rouble and ease the subsequent strain on prices.

Russian authorities are discussing bringing back the compulsory sale of foreign currency revenues for exporters to try and buttress the currency, five sources told Reuters. Russia has other tools to use, although no option is particularly favourable.

Weekly consumer prices rose 0.10% in the week to Aug. 14, said Rosstat, up from a 0.01% increase the week before. Since the start of the year, prices have risen 3.52%, it added, a slower pace than in the same period of 2022, when Russia was gripped by double-digit price rises.

In a different set of data published on Wednesday, the economy ministry said inflation was running at 4.66% on an annual basis, up from 4.43% a week ago.

Meanwhile, costs in Russia's manufacturing sector increased again in July, having steadied in June, more Rosstat data showed.

The producer prices index (PPI), a measure of costs in the manufacturing sector, stood at 1.4% in July, following a 0.0% reading in June. On an annual basis, the PPI recorded 4.1% in July, Rosstat said. In the same month last year, the index had risen 6.1% year on year.

After a deceleration in the spring of 2023 due to the previous year's high base effect, annual inflation is now above the central bank's 4% target once more and accelerating.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view shows U.S. one-dollar and Russian 100-rouble banknotes in this illustration picture taken August 14, 2023. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/Illustration/File Photo

In annualised terms on a seasonally adjusted basis, current price growth over the last three months amounted to 7.6% on average, the central bank said on Tuesday.

Russian households regularly cite inflation as their main concern, with many having no savings after a decade of economic crises and rising prices that have dragged down living standards.

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