Russia’s monthly producer price index up for third month in April By Reuters


© Reuters. Employees place an ingot of 99.98 percent pure palladium into water for cooling at a plant owned by Krastsvetmet, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of non-ferrous metals, in Krasnoyarsk, Russia April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

(Reuters) – Costs in Russia’s manufacturing sector rose for a third month in April, data from the state statistics service Rosstat showed on Wednesday, driven by a rise in the cost of mineral extraction and oil products.

The producer prices index (PPI), a measure of costs in the manufacturing sector, increased 2.4% in April. In February, the index rose for the first time month-on-month since April 2022.

On an annual basis, the PPI fell 12.7% in April, Rosstat said. In the same month last year, the index had risen 31.3% year on year.

Rosstat also published weekly inflation data, showing that consumer prices were barely changed for a third week running, steadying since the Bank of Russia opted to hold its key interest rate at 7.5%.

In a separate set of data published on Wednesday, the economy ministry said inflation was running at 2.36% on an annual basis, marginally up from 2.34% as of May 15.

Double-digit annual inflation hit Russia last year soon after it sent its armed forces into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, eliciting sweeping Western sanctions. Annual inflation has dropped below the central bank’s 4% target in recent weeks due to that high base effect.

Consumer prices rose 0.04% from May 16-22, Rosstat said, compared with a 0.04% rise from May 11-15. Since the start of the year, prices have risen 2.19%, Rosstat said, a slower pace than in the same period of 2022.

Russia recorded an extended period of falling prices last summer as surging export revenues and a collapse in imports pushed the current account to a record high.

That means the base effect delivering low annual inflation at the moment could go into reverse in the coming months, and the central bank has said annual inflation will start to climb again in May and June.

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

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