28th June 2012

Central bank

Ukraine’s inflation expectations keep falling: central bank.
Kiev. The consumer price index in Ukraine gradually decreases. According to the deputy director of the General Economic Department of the National Bank of Ukraine Oleksandr Petryk, July inflation made up 0.2%. At the same time, decline in inflation on an annualized basis stops and now the figure is almost zero, the National Bank of Ukraine announced for FOCUS News Agency.
The main factor of inflation decline stop in July on an annualized basis was the low base in comparison with the last year. Due to the rich crop in 2011, agricultural products turned out to be cheaper. As a result – July 2011 inflation rate was 1.3%.
Core inflation on an annualized basis was dropping for eleven consecutive months. In July it made up 3.1%. According to Petryk, it was caused by two factors: the deliberate monetary policy of the NBU, aimed at reducing the overall long-term inflation trend, and the influence of secondary effects caused by cheapening of raw foods in 2011 and the first half of this year.
The price for the administratively regulated services grew moderately. In July, they rose by 0.4% and practically had no effect on the overall inflationary background. Fuel prices decreased by 1.4% due to the decline in oil price in world markets.
Inflation expectations keep falling. In July, they were record low.
A relatively stable exchange rate of hryvnia and low inflation in the countries-main trading partners of Ukraine led to a slight increase (0.4% on an annualized basis) in prices for imported goods in total consumption basket of Ukraine.
In July, producers’ prices fell significantly – by 2.9%. As a consequence – the producers’ price inflation on an annualized basis slowed to 1.4% in July from 4.5% in June. The reason is decline in prices for major commodity groups in the world trading floors.
“Now the inflation environment in the economy is close to an optimal one. This means that on one hand inflation will not slow economic growth, on the other – does not cause excessive inflation expectations. And this situation can be a very good basis for further structural reforms and for ensuring sustainable economic growth of Ukraine in the coming years,” Olexander Petryk summed up.

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20th June 2012

Effective

‘Alarming’ smoking habits found in Ukraine, poorer countries.

Two fifths of men in developing countries still smoke or use tobacco, and women are increasingly starting to smoke at younger ages, according to a new international study which found “alarming patterns” of tobacco use.
Despite years of anti-smoking measures being encouraged across the world, most developing countries have low quit rates, according to the study in The Lancet medical journal on Friday – and tobacco is likely to kill half its users.
There are wide differences in the rates of smoking between genders and nations, as well as major disparities in access to effective anti-smoking policies and treatments.
“Although 1.1 billion people have been covered by the adoption of the most effective tobacco-control policies since 2008, 83 percent of the world’s population are not covered by two or more of these policies,” said Gary Giovino of the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions in New York, who led the research.
Such measures include legislation in some developed nations banning smoking in public places, imposing advertising bans and requiring more graphic health warnings on cigarette packets.
The findings come as the world’s leading tobacco firms, British American Tobacco, Britain’s Imperial Tobacco , Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco lost a crucial legal appeal in Australia this week against the introduction of plain tobacco packaging.
Australia’s planned “no logo” laws are in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations and are being watched closely by Britain, Norway, New Zealand, Canada and India, which are considering similar measures to help fight smoking.
Tobacco kills up to half of its users, according to the WHO. Smoking causes lung cancer, which is often fatal, and other chronic respiratory diseases. It is also a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, the world’s number one killers. O th er forms of tobacco use include snuff or chewing tobacco.
Giovino said his findings “reinforce the need for effective tobacco control”.

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