Consumer prices in Ukraine in May 2018 remained unchanged from the previous month, while inflation was 0.8% in April, 1.1% in March, 0.9% in February and 1.5% in January, the State Statistics Service has said. According to the agency, in annual terms (May2018 to May 2017) the rise of consumer prices slowed down to 11.7% from 13.1% in April, 13.2% in March, 14% in February, and 14.1% in January.
Underlying inflation in May 2018 fell to 0.2% from 0.6% in April and 1.4% in March, in annual terms being 9.3%.
The service said that since the beginning of the year consumer prices in Ukraine have increased by 4.4%, while underlying inflation was 3.5%.
In May compared with April 2018 prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages decreased by 0.7%. Prices for eggs and buckwheat fell most of all (by 9.5% and 7.3%). Prices for vegetables, milk and dairy products, sugar, lard, fruits, rice, sunflower oil fell by 2.9-0.5%. At the same time, prices for fish, pasta, bread, and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 0.8-0.5%.
Prices for alcoholic drinks and tobacco products grew by 1.8%, in particular for tobacco products by 2.4%, alcoholic drinks by 1.0%.
The growth of tariffs for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels by 0.1% was mainly due to the increase in water supply tariffs by 2.2%, sewerage by 1.8%, and housing maintenance by 1.2%.
The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) confirmed the forecast for 2018 inflation at 8.9% in April. “According to the estimates of the National Bank, the deviation of the actual inflation in April from the forecast is insignificant and can be leveled out in the following months. In addition, the monetary conditions are still tough enough to ensure a gradual decline in consumer inflation in accordance with the forecast of the National Bank (8.9% year-on-year at the end of 2018) and its return to the target range in mid-2019,” the NBU reported.
According to the State Statistics Service, in April consumer inflation continued slowing down for the third consecutive month and amounted to 13.1% year-on-year (compared to 13.2% in March). Inflation in monthly terms decreased from 1.1% in March to 0.8% in April.
“Although the National Bank expected inflation to decline year-on-year, its April figure slightly exceeded the forecast published in the Inflation Report for April 2018, mainly due to the influence of the most volatile components,” the National Bank said in a statement.
The National Bank at the end of October last year worsened the inflation forecast for 2018 from 6% to 7.3%, in January this year to 8.9%, while the Cabinet of Ministers from 7% to 9%.
The NBU, to curb price increases, from March 2 raised the refinancing rate to 17% from 16%.
The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine expect the country’s GDP will grow by 3.6% in 2019. The corresponding forecast is contained in the draft titled “Main Guidelines of Budget Policy” submitted by the Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday. The growth of the consumer price index (inflation) by the end of 2019 is expected at 6.5%, the average annual forex rate of the hryvnia against the U.S. dollar is projected at UAH 30.5.
Earlier it was reported that the National Bank of Ukraine predicts the acceleration of GDP growth in 2018 to 3.4% from 2.5% in 2017 and a slowdown in 2019-2020 to 2.9%.
Regarding the consumer price index, the NBU expects inflation to slow to 8.9% by the end of 2018 from 13.7% in 2017, while a forecast for 2019 is set at 5.8%, in 2020 at to 5%.