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Russian December Inflation Accelerates to 2012-High 6.6%

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Russian inflation accelerated to 6.6 percent in December from a year earlier, up from 6.5 percent in November and October, matching a preliminary estimate.

Consumer prices advanced 0.5 percent in the month, the Federal Statistics Service in Moscow said today in an e-mailed statement. Core inflation, which excludes volatile costs such as energy, slowed to 0.4 percent from 0.5 percent in November, bringing the full-year increase to 5.7 percent, according to the statement.

Central bank Chairman Sergey Ignatiev wants to hold inflation at 5 percent to 6 percent this year, half a percentage point higher than previously targeted, as he winds up his third and final term. Inflation slowed to a post-Soviet low of 3.6 percent in April and May after the government pushed back increases in utility tariffs by six months to July 1.

Price growth in 2011 was 6.1 percent, a post-Soviet record low for the year-end figure.

To contact the reporters on this story: Olga Tanas in Moscow at otanas@bloomberg.net; Scott Rose in Moscow at rrose10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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