Inflation in Kazakhstan makes 13.6% in 201505 january, 18:11
The Statistics Committee of the Ministry of National Economy of Kazakhstan has released its official inflation rate data: the 2015 inflation made 13.6% in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports.
The 2015 rate is almost double the rate of 2014 that made 7.4%. The spike was mostly driven by depreciation of the county's national currency - the tenge - that started on August 20 and continues since.
On August 20, 2015 the Kazakh government abandoned the fixed currency band and floated the tenge, citing mounting external pressure on the overvalued currency that caused the National Bank to spend too much of its forex reserves to protect the currency rate. At that time the rate was at around 185 tenge per 1 US dollar. Since then the tenge started losing weight and has thinned to nearly 350 tenge per 1 dollar.
Kazakhstan produces some of its own food, but it completely reliant on import for consumer goods. So the depreciation of the national currency affected food prices inflation rate less then it did the rate of other goods: food prices inflation rate in 2015 made 10.9%, while non-food prices rate spiked to 22.6%.
Not all types of food were spared, however: fruit inflation rate made 26.7%, sunflower oil - 29.2% sugar - 20.1%, fish and seafood - 19.5%, eggs - 18%, non-alcohol beverages - 16.9%. Even bread prices went 14.4% up although Kazakhstan is among the world's leading producers of wheat and flour.
Things looked worse for imported goods - textiles went 35.4% up and pharmaceuticals went 31.3% up.
According to the estimates voiced by Minister of National Economy Yerbolat Dossayev in November 2015, the inflation rate is going to stay within the range of 6-8 percent in 2016 and 2017, will go down to 5-7 percent in 2018 and further down to 4-6 in 2019, whereas in 2020 Kazakhstan will reach the levels of 3-4% matching Europe.
By Tatyana Kuzmina