Ukrainian Inflation Unexpectedly Quickened

11:38, 07 July 2009
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Ukraine’s inflation rate, the highest in Europe, unexpectedly rose in June for the first time since February, led by household utility prices and higher costs for tobacco and railway transportation, according to Bloomberg.

The annual rate jumped to 15 percent from 14.7 percent in May, the Kiev-based state statistics committee said in a statement on its Web site. The median forecast of 10 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a rate of 14.3 percent. In the month, prices rose 1.1 percent.

“Utility bills in Kiev rose by 50 percent to 100 percent and Kiev city indicators are key for price indexes,” said Oleksiy Blinov, an analyst at Kiev-based investment bank Astrum Investments, before the release. “There was also an increase in railway transportation prices and in tobacco excise duties.”

Ukraine has been trying to curb inflation as the nation copes with the effects of the global financial crisis, which weakened the national currency and pushed the economy into recession. The government has pledged to bring annual price growth below 10 percent this year from 22.3 percent in 2008.

Utility rates, including gas, water supply, heating and electricity, rose 34.7 percent in June, the statistics office said. Prices for tobacco and alcohol surged 40 percent and transportation fees by 18.8 percent, according to the statement.

Producer prices, an early indicator of inflation, rose 1.4 percent on the month in June and declined 0.9 percent from the same month a year ago, according to the statistics office.

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