MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday (Feb 12) that special attention must be paid to curbing rising prices, stressing that inflation is on a downward trend.
The central bank is expected to leave interest rates at 16 percent at its rate-setting meeting on February 16 after raising rates by 850 basis points since July amid persistent inflationary pressures due to labor shortages, a weak ruble and high levels of budget spending.
“Of course, special attention should be paid to inflation, to its containment,” Putin said during a televised meeting, which also featured the head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, after a week’s unexplained public absence.
Putin praised the actions of the central bank and the government, noting that inflation is now decreasing. Annual inflation was 7.2 percent in January, down from 7.4 percent at the end of 2023, he said.
Russia’s economy rebounded sharply from a recession in 2022, annual data showed on Wednesday, but growth is largely dependent on state-sponsored arms and ammunition production and mask problems that are hampering Russians’ living standards.