Russian weekly inflation eases after rate cut

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Local resident Maria Komissarova visits a supermarket in the Siberian town of Tara

(Reuters) -Russia’s weekly inflation rate eased in late April, data from statistics service Rosstat showed on Friday, confirming an easing of crippling price pressures days after the central bank cut interest rates.

The central bank lowered its key interest rate to 14% from 17% in a sharper-than-expected move last week and said it saw room to cut further this year, as it tries to juggle the twin tasks of managing a shrinking economy and soaring inflation.

Inflation was 0.21% in the week to April 29, down from 0.25% a week earlier and well below the 2.22% hit in early March.

Western sanctions, a volatile rouble and logistics disruptions have sent prices soaring, and annual inflation accelerated to 17.73% as of April 29, its highest since 2002 and up from 17.70% a week earlier, the economy ministry said.

Inflation is on track to accelerate to 18-23% in the whole of 2022, the central bank forecasts. It targets inflation of 4%.

Prices have risen sharply on nearly everything from staple foods to clothes and smartphones since Russia began what it calls “a special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Year-to-date, consumer prices are up 11.56%.

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by John Stonestreet)

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