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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Seen Delaying Spending Hikes

President Vladimir Putin may ask the government to delay some spending increases because of concerns about maintaining macroeconomic stability, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

Putin said he agreed with some of the Finance Ministry's and the Economic Development and Trade Ministry's calls for paying greater attention to macroeconomic issues, the newspaper reported. Putin asked Cabinet members Tuesday to consider changing the government's spending plan, Kommersant said.

The government may delay spending increases to avoid raising the inflation rate, Kommersant said, citing unnamed government officials. Putin was speaking at the opening of Tuesday's Cabinet meeting, the rest of which was closed to the press, the newspaper said.

The annual inflation rate accelerated to 8.5 percent in June from 7.8 percent in May, according to the State Statistics Service. The government aims to contain inflation at or below the 8 percent rate at the end of the year.