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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deputy Minister Says May Inflation in Check

Consumer prices were likely to rise less than 1 percent in May over the previous month, Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Wednesday.

"We expect inflation to stay within a 1 percent range. It could be 0.9 percent or 0.8 percent," he told reporters.

Consumer prices rose by 1 percent in April. Monthly inflation was 1.7 percent last May. Inflation, one of the country's intractable economic problems, ran at 6.2 percent in the first four months of the year, sparking doubts about whether a 12 percent official target for 2003 is achievable.

Dvorkovich also said the ruble, which has been gaining steadily since the start of the year largely on the back of higher oil export earnings, was likely to appreciate by a little more than 10 percent against the dollar in real terms this year.

Earlier this month the Finance Ministry said the economy could cope with ruble appreciation of up to 10 percent on the dollar but warned that a faster rise might negatively impact on the economy.

Dvorkovich said that because of the dollar's weakness against the euro, the ruble would rise 3 percent to 4 percent against the combined euro and dollar basket this year.

Under pressure from local businesses, the Central Bank has pledged to keep the ruble's real appreciation against the euro and dollar to less than 6 percent this year.