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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gaidar Predicts Inflation at 5%

HELSINKI -- Former Russian reform chief Yegor Gaidar has said that monthly inflation in August would be below 5 percent and that he hoped it could be kept at around that level during the autumn.

Gaidar, arriving in neighboring Finland for a three-day visit, said Sunday that an increase of the money supply in May, June and July could raise inflation somewhat.

"But I'm not afraid of a big increase of the inflation (during the autumn)," he told reporters.

The government has promised end-1994 monthly inflation rates of 7 percent, compared with current rates of around five percent and as high as 22 percent last January.

Russian government officials have predicted, however, that monthly inflation will rise as high as 10 percent in coming months before falling again at the end of the year.

Gaidar, who will meet Prime Minister Esko Aho and President Martti Ahtisaari while in Helsinki, spearheaded Russia's initial thrust toward capitalism in 1992 but dropped out of the government in January along with reformist ex-Finance Minister Boris Fyodorov.

At that time, Gaidar accused Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin of planning to put a brake on his reforms.

In June he was elected head of a new political party aiming to unite the country's fragmented liberal forces.

Gaidar described the present government as a coalition which in practice promoted different economic policies, but he said he hoped it would not make any drastic mistakes that would undermine the achievements when it came to inflation.