CPI inflation slowed to 6.8% y/y in March, the State Stat Agency has informed. Services contributed the most significantly as they increased by 13.1% y/y which is however slower than 13.4% observed in February. Prices for services were pulled up by growing costs of the housing and public utilities. Food prices went up by 4.7% y/y in comparison to 5% seen in previous month while non-food prices remained at the same level of 3.3% y/y in March. In m/m terms inflation made up 0.2% wit food and non-food prices growing by 0.2% m/m and prices for services remaining at the level seen in February. The National Bank of Kazakhstan and the government expect inflation to stay in 6-8% y/y range this year. To remind, inflation reached 6% y/y last year, down from 7.8% y/y reported in 2011. The slowdown in inflation prompted the NBK to several cuts in refinancing rate, which has stayed at 5.5% since August 2012.
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