Russian consumer prices fell for a ninth straight week, data showed, thanks to a seasonal drop in fruit and vegetable prices, sluggish consumer demand and the rouble's strength over the past few months.
The consumer price index dipped 0.13% in the week to 5 September after easing 0.16% a week earlier, the federal statistics service Rosstat said on Wednesday.
Annual inflation slowed to 14.08% as of 5 September from 14.31% a week earlier, the economy ministry said.
The inflation pattern may open the door to a cut in the central bank's key interest rate as soon as next week. A Reuters poll of economists predicted the central bank will cut its key rate to 7.5% from 8% at the 16 September board meeting.
Despite the recent incremental declines in the CPI, prices for nearly everything, from milk and sugar to clothes and smartphones, have soared since 24 February when Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine.
Consumer Price Index
In the year-to-date, prices for foreign-made cars, sanitary pads and soap have jumped by around 40%, with the headline consumer price index up 10.24% compared with a 5.32% increase in the same period of 2021, Rosstat data showed.
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that inflation was expected to reach 12% this year.
High inflation has been a key concern for households for years as it dents their spending power and living standards, and this year will be aggravated by recession in the economy.
Putin said the economy will shrink by around 2% this year, a shallower contraction than previously thought, as Russia has overcome the worst impact of Western sanctions.