Weekly consumer prices in Russia rose for the third week running, latest data showed, after almost three months of weekly deflation and a little over two weeks before the central bank next meets to decide on interest rates.
Russia's consumer price index rose 0.03% in the week to 10 October, the Rosstat federal statistics service said. Prior to the current three-week sequence, the last time weekly prices rose was in May.
In a separate set of data, the economy ministry said annual consumer inflation slowed to 13.36% as of 10 October, down from 13.49% a week earlier.
Central Bank deputy governor Alexei Zabotkin said on Wednesday the bank was not observing an increase in inflationary risks. But, addressing lawmakers the day before, he acknowledged that returning inflation to near the bank's 4% target would take longer than in normal circumstances.
"This is because the transformation of the economy requires significant price adjustment across a wide range of goods and services," Zabotkin said.
The Bank of Russia cut its key rate to 7.5% last month, but suggested its rate-cutting drive could end soon, omitting guidance about studying the need for future reductions, as inflationary expectations rise.
Inflation surged earlier this year after Moscow launched what it calls its 'special military operation' in Ukraine, prompting the central bank to hike rates to 20% in February.
The bank has cut rates six times since then, but falling living standards in recent months have weighed on consumer demand, hitting retail sales and leading to an extended period of deflation over the summer. The next rate-setting meeting is 28 October.
President Vladimir Putin's military mobilisation drive now threatens to undermine productivity, demand and economic recovery, analysts said.
High inflation has for years been a top concern for Russian households as it dents their spending power and eats into living standards. Poverty rates are relatively high in Russia and surveys show more than half of all households have no savings.
Since the start of the year, consumer prices have risen 10.53%, Rosstat said. At the same point in 2021, year-to-date inflation was running at 6.49%.
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