Prices went up by 0.2% WoW in the first week of April. Average daily inflation edged lower to 0.027%. The deceleration is broad based with food and non-food categories losing momentum. The highest growth was observed in black tea, which gained 0.8% WoW, followed by canned meat, sunflower seed oil and rye-bread, each climbing 0.4%. Vegetable prices continued to decelerate as tomatoes and cucumbers lost 7.9% and 2.8% WoW, respectively.
With full-March data available, the average daily rate of inflation for that month has now been revised to 0.039% from the 0.033% that was available from the weekly data, which only underscores this week's fall to a 0.027% daily rate.
The current print demonstrates broad based moderation and is strongly indicative of the fact that the disinflation trend is now well entrenched. This tendency will likely find further support in contracting demand as demonstrated by the continuing decline of durable sales (car sales fell 42.5% YoY in March) and non-CIS imports (-38.8% YoY in March). Recent rouble strength in general is certainly inflation-positive, yet only of secondary importance considering the known asymmetry of the exchange rate pass-through, both in magnitude and in the speed of the adjustment.
Looking ahead, we expect the sequential rate to remain in the neighbourhood of 0.2% WoW, or slightly below, as residual pent-up pass-through effects, such as the current tea price spike, expend themselves.