Ukraine consumer inflation speeds up to 7.5% in February
Annual inflation in Ukraine sped up to 7.5% yoy in February from 6.1% yoy in January, the State Statistics Service reported on March 9.
Ukraine’s consumer prices increased 1.0% m/m in February after jumping 1.3% m/m in January mostly due to growing prices for food, transportation, alcohol and tobacco. Food prices advanced 2.1% m/m in February (after increasing 1.4% m/m in January). Prices grew the most for vegetable oil (7.6% m/m), vegetables (6.3% m/m), and sugar (5.5% m/m). Alcohol and tobacco added 1.3% m/m in February (vs. 1.0% m/m growth in January).
Prices for transportation grew 1.6% m/m in February (after increasing 1.0% in January), mostly due to jumps in the cost of fuel and lubricants (+7.3% m/m) and railroad tariffs (+1.9% m/m).
Housing and utility services slid 1.8% m/m (after jumping 6.0% m/m in January). In particular, prices for electricity declined 6.6% m/m. Prices for clothing and footwear dropped 3.5% m/m (after falling 4.0% m/m in January).
Evgeniya Akhtyrko: Monthly inflation in February was higher than ever before in previous years. We believe that the growth of food prices was mostly the result of ever increased inflation expectations spiraled by a jump in natural gas prices for households during previous months, growing outlays for housing services and transportation.
The government decision “to fix” the price of natural gas for households for February-March 2021 somewhat alleviated the growth of the consumer basket cost in February. In addition, the prices for clothing and footwear have been on a downward trend as the result of dwindling demand during the pandemic.
We expect consumer inflation to heat up in the upcoming months. Also, our expectations that the NBU will again increase its policy rate at an Apr. 15 meeting (from 6.5% today) have more grounds now.