Inflation, which has been soaring in Russia for months, soared to 16.7% in March year on year, according to data from the statistics agency Rosstat published on Friday, a level not seen since the beginning of 2015. in February of this year, prices even accelerated by 7.6% month-on-month. This is more than four times the target of 4% posted by the Russian Central Bank. This is the first month that has seen the repercussions on prices of Western sanctions linked to Ukraine, which are likely to worsen further. Renaissance capital analysts predict that a peak of 24% will be reached this summer before the ebb.
Pasta, butter, sugar especially increased
Food inflation rose by 19.5%. Among the prices that increased the most over one year, we find pasta (+25%), butter (+22%), sugar (+70%), fruit and vegetables (+35%), building materials (+32%), household electronics (+40%). Inflation, galloping for months, is linked to the post-pandemic recovery and soaring commodity prices, to which are now added sanctions and their share of logistics disruptions.
The price hike undermines the purchasing power of Russians, who have little savings, and proves to be a headache for the authorities, who have attempted price control measures which have had the opposite effect, in particular in the case of sugar.
The Russians blame the blow
At a market in St. Petersburg this week, buyers were feeling the pinch. “Apparently it happened because of politics (…), and that’s why prices went up,” factory worker Olessia Ogieva, 42, told AFP. years. “We weren’t preparing for this and we weren’t ready for it. Prices have gone up and wages aren’t going up,” complains Léonide Kabaline, 40.
“If our high authorities and our president think that we have to increase (prices, editor’s note), I agree. And what else can I do?”, says Julia Riabinina, retired, 58 years.