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HomeBusinessRussia's cost of living soars by more than 14%

Russia’s cost of living soars by more than 14%

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By Annabelle Liang
Business reporter

(BBC) – The cost of living in Russia is surging following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, according to new data.

Official figures show the price of some household staples – such as sugar – have jumped by as much as 14% over the past week.

Inflation is set to keep rising in Russia where the rouble has fallen sharply since the Ukraine war began.

The value of the currency has dropped about 22% this year, and this has pushed up the cost of importing goods.

The inflation data came as the Russian stock market resumed trading on Thursday after a month-long hiatus, with the majority of shares rising in a volatile trading session.

The benchmark Moex index was up by around 5.6% at midday in Moscow.

Analysts said a government plan to buy billions of dollars worth of Russian shares was supporting the market, which dived last month after Russia invaded its neighbour.

Bans on trade with foreigners and on short-selling remain in place.

Rising cost of living

On Wednesday, Russia’s economic ministry said annual inflation had jumped 14.5% in the week ending 18 March – the highest rate since late 2015.

The Federal State Statistics Service said the cost of sugar rose by as much as 37.1% in certain regions of the country and increased by an average 14%.

Sugar, which is commonly used to preserve food or make liquor, was the biggest gainer in the week, the government agency found.

The price of onions was the second biggest riser over the week, up 13.7% nationwide and 40.4% in some areas. Meanwhile, nappies were 4.4% more expensivePrices for black tea rose 4% and toilet paper increased by 3%.

Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said prices were higher because of the weaker rouble.

“The biggest culprit is imported inflation,” Mr Innes told the BBC. “Anything Russia imports is exponentially (pricier) due to the weaker rouble.”

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