Russia was the only European country last month to record a drop in food prices, sometimes referred to as deflation, RIA Novosti reported on Sunday. The news agency cited calculations based on figures from the national statistics offices of 40 European countries that disclosed data for May in early June.
According to the data, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages in Russia fell by a record 1.12% in annual terms. This was the second consecutive month when prices on these groups of products displayed deflation – in April they’d fallen 0.22%. Prior to this, annual price drops for food and non-alcoholic beverages have been observed in Russia only once – 0.42% in June 2018.
The head of Russia’s Association of Food Producers and Suppliers Dmitry Vostrikov told RIA Novosti that the drop in prices stems from the reorientation of logistics routes and the expansion of settlements in national currencies. Both are measures Russia was forced to implement amid the Western sanctions it faced following the launch of its military operation in Ukraine. Vostrikov noted that a record harvest of grain and oilseeds also helped to stem growth in prices.
Meanwhile, other European nations saw food prices surge last month, albeit at a slower pace in most countries, RIA’s research found.
Hungary recorded the highest food inflation in the region at 34%. Serbia, Slovakia, Estonia and Ukraine saw annual price-growth rates above 20%.
Inflation below 10% in annual terms was observed in only four countries – Portugal (9.4%), Cyprus (8.4%), Switzerland (5.3%) and Belarus (4.4%).