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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Inflation Target May Be Raised

The Central Bank is considering raising its 2006 inflation target, its first deputy chairman, Alexei Ulyukayev, said Wednesday.

"It is possible that in October we will revise our forecast and will raise it by a small amount," Ulyukayev said at a conference on finance. He did not specify the size of the possible increase.

The Central Bank's official inflation target for 2006 is 8.5 percent, below the government's own 9.0 percent forecast.

"Meeting an annual inflation target of 9 percent is difficult but possible," Ulyukayev said.

Inflation last year was 10.7 percent, but officials' hopes of a substantial improvement this year appear to have been dashed by food price inflation during the summer months, as a poor harvest has hit supplies of fresh produce to shops and markets. "In an environment where annualized inflation and core inflation are higher than we would like, although lower than last year, we are taking and will continue to take measures that are normal for the central bank," Ulyukayev said. "These are divided into two groups: exchange-rate instruments and interest-rate instruments."

The Central Bank has resorted to allowing the ruble to appreciate in a bid to curb inflationary pressures, letting the currency rise this year by about 4 percent against the basket of dollars and euros it uses as a market guide.

But Arkady Dvorkovich, a Kremlin adviser, on Tuesday said the strong ruble policy "made no sense."