Russia records weekly consumer prices dip as cenbank rate meeting looms

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A view shows Russia's Central Bank headquarters in Moscow

(This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine)

MOSCOW – Consumer prices in Russia declined 0.03% in the week to July 8 after climbing 0.23% a week earlier, according to fresh data which kept the door open for the central bank to consider cutting rates as soon as next week.

The rouble strengthening and a drop in consumer demand have helped Russia rein in inflation, which soared to 20-year highs in annual terms after Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.

So far this year, consumer prices have risen 11.60% compared with a 4.51% increase in the same period of 2021, data from the Federal Statistics Service Rosstat showed. Prices on nearly everything, from vegetables and sugar to clothes and smartphones, have risen sharply since Feb. 24.

The central bank, which targets annual inflation at 4%, is widely expected to trim its key interest rate from 9.5% when it holds its next board meeting on July 22, to limit the depth of economic contraction with cheaper lending.

High inflation has been the key concern among Russian households for years as it dents living standards, something that this year will be aggravated by the economic crisis triggered by unprecedented Western sanctions against Russia.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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