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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gref Expects Inflation to Be Near Zero

Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref said Tuesday that he expected inflation to be near zero in coming months, but that the government would sell grain on the market to help dampen food price rises, Russian news agencies reported Tuesday.

The consumer price index rose 0.9 percent in July, month on month, after a 1 percent gain in June. Economists said the data meant consumer prices were likely to overshoot the government's 8 percent target this year.

"We expect that inflation in August and September will, at a minimum, be zero," Gref said during a visit to Vladivostok.

Gref repeated that the government expected inflation to stay within its forecast, Interfax reported.

He blamed inflation on fruit and vegetable price rises and, recently, oil products and bread products. The food price component of the CPI basket rose by 1.4 percent in the month of July, with bread up 7.2 percent.