Russia's Central Bank urges an end to price controls
On April 7 the bank chief said that government caps on comestible prices have a delterious effect on the economy. The price limits were introduced in 2020. Market distortion has resulted. Opinion polls show that the Russian Number 1 concern is the cost of living. The government will be loath to rescind price caps with parliamentary elections due in September 2021. The popularity of United Russia - the main pro-Putin party - is at an all time low.Inflation has sped up in 2021, reaching 5.8% in March 2021. Food prices are rising fastest at 7.7%.The Central Bank's goal on inflation is 4%. Interest rates were raised by the bank in March 2021 to 4.25%. Experts surmise that inflation will start to slow down in Q3 2021.Retail chains and farmers are also opposed to price controls. They claim it discourages development and causes shortages.