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22 August, Thursday

Ufa   °

Inflation has stabilized in Volga Region - National Bank for Bashkiria

Economy/Business

UFA, 19 April 2019. /Bashinform News Agency, Galina Bakhshieva/ translated by Tatiana Aksyutina/.

The annual inflation remained at the level of 5.1% in the Volga Federal District in March. In Bashkortostan, the inflation rate was 5.2%, the National Bank RB reported.

As the experts explained, such stabilization is associated with the completion of the transfer of the VAT rate increase to prices and a decrease in pressure from the food prices cost.

Inflation in the Volga Federal District ceased to grow primarily due to food products, the rise in prices for which slowed down by 0.2 percentage points — up to 5.4%. For comparison: in Russia as a whole, this indicator is 5.9%.

The main components of the slowdown in food inflation in the Volga Federal District regions were the fruit, potatoes, eggs, and sugar prices. Also in March, many types of fruit became noticeably cheaper: grapes, apples, and bananas. The cost of imported fruit, as at the beginning of the year, was significantly influenced by the ruble exchange rate, and domestic – by a high yield in 2018.

Experts also note the stabilization of meat prices growth after their substantial acceleration in the second half of last year. Nevertheless, the trend towards an increase in the annual growth rates of bread, confectionery, pasta, and cereals prices remained.

In contrast to food inflation, the rise in prices for non-food products, on the contrary, accelerated (by 0.2 pp to 4.8% per year). It happened, first of all, due to an increase in the growth rate of prices for passenger cars by 0.3 percentage points up to 6.1%.

Consumer prices for fuel in March decreased slightly, and their annual growth rates slowed down by 0.1 pp to 10% amid the extension of the agreement on the regulation of petroleum products prices.

For the year, the price fell on appliances: smartphones, cameras, and TV sets, the demand for which appeared to be lower than the supply, as well as for some items of clothing and footwear.

In March, the annual inflation of services, as in February, was 5.1%. Its stabilization was influenced by communication services, the rise in prices for which slowed down by 1.1 percentage points up to 4.6%. This is partly due to the effect of a high comparative base: a year ago, mobile operators simultaneously raised tariffs.

The planned increase in the cost of travel in urban transport in selected regions of the Volga Federal District has contributed to inflation. In general, annual inflation slowed in almost half of the Volga regions in March. Among them, there was Udmurtia, Chuvashia, Mordovia, Bashkortostan, Nizhny Novgorod, and Penza regions.

“There are signs that the peak of annual inflation in these regions has already passed. In the future, inflation will slow down in other regions of the Volga region. Now the risks of rising prices for separate food products have decreased. In March, prices for some foodstuffs, which had previously made a significant contribution to the acceleration of food inflation, fell, ”said Larisa Pavlova, head of the Volga-Vyatka State Bank of Russia.

According to her, these factors also influenced the lowering of the inflation forecast to 4.7–5.2% (from 5.0–5.5% earlier) in Russia in 2019. Return of annual inflation to 4% is expected in the first half of 2020.

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