Ukraine’s inflation falls to 9.8% y/y in 2018

Ukraine’s inflation falls to 9.8% y/y in 2018
Consumer price inflation (CPI) in Ukraine slowed in the last month of 2018 to 9.8%, down from 10% in November
By bne IntelliNews January 10, 2019

Consumer price inflation (CPI) in Ukraine slowed in the last month of 2018 to 9.8%, down from 10% in November, as the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) campaign to tackle price rises continues to meet with success, according to Ukrstat data released on January 8.

Inflation has fallen steadily from a peak of 60% in 2015 during the worst of the economy collapse sparked by the EuroMaidan revolution in 2014. It is also down from the start of last year’s 13.7%, Ukrstat said. Inflation growth rates in the previous years were 12.4% in 2016, 43.3% in 2015, and 24.9% in 2014, Interfax Ukraine reports.

Month-on-month, in December last year, inflation was 0.8% against 1.4% in November, 1.7% in October, and 1.9% in September.

The NBU has been fighting against inflation all of last year and hiked rates three times to end the year with the crushing 18%. While inflation is falling the underlying inflationary forces are still there. However, the NBU is hoping to cut rates this year to bolster anaemic growth.

According to a recent Reuters survey of 15 analysts, the median inflation forecast for 2019 is 7.5%.

Food prices appreciation has been a major cause of inflation in Ukraine. According to the State Statistics Service, in December 2018, the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased 1.8% in the consumer market. The most vegetables went up in price (by 16.5%). The prices for milk and dairy products, pasta, butter, bread increased 3.2-1.6%. At the same time, rice, eggs, sugar, fruit, pork became cheaper by 1.4-0.5%, reports Interfax.

Prices for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products rose by 1%, which is related to a rise in the price of tobacco products by 1.7%.

The rise in prices (tariffs) for housing, water, electricity, gas and other types of fuel by 0.7% was mainly due to the increase in prices for liquefied gas — by 3.2%, tariffs for hot water, heating — by 2.1%, sewage — by 0.8%, and water supply, maintenance of houses and house territories — by 0.6%.

The decline in prices for transport by 1.6% is mainly due to the cheapening of fuel and lubricants by 6%. At the same time, fares for road passenger transport went up by 2.5%.