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    Inflation in Russia hit 5.3% in 1Q09 - Central Bank chief

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    Inflation in Russia hit 5.3% in the first three months of 2009, the head of the Central Bank said on Friday, adding that consumer price growth for the year could however total less than 2008's 13.3%.

    MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - Inflation in Russia hit 5.3% in the first three months of 2009, the head of the Central Bank said on Friday, adding that consumer price growth for the year could however total less than 2008's 13.3%.

    "According to preliminary reports, inflation was 5.3% in the first three months [of 2009]," Sergei Ignatyev said, adding that inflation in January-March 2008 was 4.8%.

    He also said inflation stood at 1.2% in March 2009.

    Ignatyev said the ruble's recent slump, which he said ended in January, was still a major factor in keeping inflation high.

    However, the banker said, inflation would soon slow down due to "an absolute break in the ruble supply in the past few months and the consistently low level of global food, energy and commodity prices."

    "Inflation will be some 13% in 2009, according to our estimates. It could also be lower," he added.

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