Russian consumer prices dip for 6th straight week

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A pedestrian walks past a window display at a shopping mall in central Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Consumer prices in Russia declined for the sixth week running, data showed on Wednesday, as the rouble's appreciation in the past few months and a drop in consumer demand weighed on the pace of price growth.

The consumer prices index (CPI) dipped 0.13% in the week to Aug. 15 after easing 0.08% a week earlier, the federal statistics service Rosstat said.

Inflation remains high but is slowing after prices of nearly everything, from vegetables and sugar to clothes and smartphones, have jumped sharply since Feb. 24 when Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine.

The CPI extended its decline even after the central bank slashed its key rate by 150 basis points to 8% last month and indicated it was ready to consider further monetary easing to limit the depth of economic recession.

A separate set of Rosstat's data showed on Wednesday that the producer price index, the gauge of prices that suppliers are charging their clients, fell sharply in annual terms to 6.1% in July from 11.3% in June, well below levels above 30% seen in April.

High inflation has been the key concern among households for several years as it dents living standards, something that this year will be aggravated by recession in the economy.

Russia's economy will contract less than expected and inflation will not be as high as projected three months ago, the economy ministry forecasts seen by Reuters showed, suggesting the economy is dealing with sanctions better than initially feared.

So far this year, consumer prices have risen 10.72% compared with a 4.69% increase in the same period of 2021, Rosstat data showed.

(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh)