Inflation in Ukraine in 2017 accelerates to 13.7%

The growth of consumer prices in Ukraine in 2017 accelerated to 13.7% compared with 12.4% in 2016, which, however, is significantly lower than in the past years: it was 43.3% in 2015 and 24.9% in 2014, the State Statistics Service of Ukraine reported on Tuesday.

In December 2017 alone, inflation was 1% against 0.9% in November and 1.2% in October, it said.

The statistics service reported that the average annual inflation in 2017 (January-December to January-December of the previous year) increased to 14.4% from 13.9% a year earlier.

Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages in the consumer market in December increased by 1.5%. Prices for vegetables and eggs rose most of all (by 7.1% and 6.8%). Prices for milk and dairy products, butter, lard, fruits, bread, beef and pasta rose by 4.0%-1.6%. At the same time, prices for buckwheat, sugar, poultry, and fish fell by 5.4%-0.5%.

Prices for alcoholic drinks and tobacco products increased by 0.6%.

The growth in prices (tariffs) for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels by 0.3% occurred mainly due to the increase in the cost of housing maintenance and repairs by 1.1%, heating tariffs by 0.9%. At the same time, tariffs for water supply and sewerage decreased by 1.2%, hot water by 0.1%.

The increase in prices for transport in general by 1.8% was mainly due to the rise in prices for fuels and oils by 2.5%, as well as the rise in road transport fares by 1.5%.

As reported, the Ukrainian government and the National Bank of Ukraine initially forecast a slowdown in consumer price growth to 8-8.1% in 2017. However, during the year they worsened their forecasts. In particular, the government at the end of May revised its inflation forecast from 8% to 11.2%, and the National Bank's inflation forecast given in late October was 12.2% instead of earlier predicted 9.1%; the inflation forecast for 2018 was changed to 7.3% from 6.0%.

While drafting the national budget for 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers also worsened the inflation forecast for 2018 from 7% to 9%.