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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Inflation Rate Slows to 8.6% in August

The annual inflation rate slowed in August from the highest level this year as fruits and vegetables became cheaper.

The rate declined to 8.6 percent from 8.7 percent in July, the Federal Statistics Service said in a statement Friday.

Seasonal factors such as lower consumer prices for produce helped damp inflation, Katya Malofeyeva, chief economist at Renaissance Capital, said before the figures were released.

"The Central Bank will try to bring inflation down further, but it is unlikely to lower the rate below 8.3 percent by the end of the year because little time remains," Malofeyeva said.

The government aims to contain inflation at 8 percent this year, below last year's 9 percent rate. Officials have struggled to contain consumer-price growth as revenue from oil and gas sales and record foreign investment in retail and other expanding industries flood the country.

Acting Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov told an investment conference in Sochi on Friday that the government is sticking to its 8 percent target.

Foreign direct investment more than doubled to $15.8 billion in the first half. The nation will probably receive from $60 billion to $70 billion in net capital inflow this year, surpassing last year's record of $41.6 billion, according to government forecasts.

Monthly consumer-price growth slowed to 0.1 percent in August, compared with 0.9 percent in July.

Zhukov said consumer prices will probably rise 0.3 percent to 0.4 percent in September, that's higher than the 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent estimate Alexei Ulyukayev, first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, gave Sept. 6.