Inflation Leaps, Led by Bread and Gasoline

Consumer prices rose 5.3 percent in the year through Monday, the State Statistics Service said Wednesday.

Prices increased 0.5 percent in the week ending Monday, led by bread prices, which rose 3.3 percent in the week, the service said in a statement. Gasoline and diesel fuel rose 1.3 percent, the statement said.

"Price growth in the week is unbelievable," said Yevgeny Nadorshin, chief economist at Trust Bank. Inflation was led by food costs, despite a price-freeze agreement between producers and retailers, he said.

Inflation accelerated from last year, when consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in the first week of April and 3.7 percent in the year through April 7, the statistics service said.

The country is struggling to cut the inflation rate to 9.5 percent this year from 11.9 percent in 2007.

The annual rate reached 12.7 percent in February, the highest since July 2005, as proceeds from oil and gas sales helped boost wages and consumer spending.

Consumer prices rose 1.2 percent in March from the previous month. Record prices for wheat pushed bread costs up 4.3 percent, while overall food prices jumped 2 percent last month.