Consumer Prices Up 12% in Year to Date

Russian consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in the week to Monday, at the same pace as in the preceding period, which took inflation for the year to date to 12 percent, the State Statistics Service said Wednesday.

Prices in the latest week have been driven up by a 0.7 percent increase in the cost of chicken, as well as more expensive eggs and canned meat. With the harvest season nearly over, fruit and vegetable prices rose 0.3 percent on average.

The global financial crisis has prompted the government to switch focus from controlling inflation to supporting the economy and financial markets.

As a result, the Central Bank has raised its full-year inflation forecast to 13 percent from less than 11 percent, while analysts expect it to come in even higher, about 14 percent.

The weakening of the ruble has added to inflationary pressures in Russia, which imports about 40 percent of its food. The ruble has weakened 1.4 percent against the dollar since the start of the month and is about 12 percent weaker than it was at the start of the year.

Consumer prices are now up 0.4 percent since the start of November, suggesting that full-month inflation will be in line with October's 0.9 percent.