DUSHANBE, August 21, 2009, Asia-Plus  -- Consumer prices will continue to rise through the year and annual inflation for 2009 will stand at 12-15 percent, Dr. Khojmahmad Umarov, the head of the macro-economy department at the Institute for Economic Studies within the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT), said in an interview with Asia-Plus.

According to him, electricity prices have risen 25 percent this year and oil product prices are also rising.  “Increasing energy and fuel prices leads to the increase in prices of other consumer goods and services,” Umarov said.

The expert questions official figures estimating inflation for January-July 2009 at 3.1 percent.  “Although prices of wheat flour and meats have remained unchanged over the report period, prices of electrical power and oil products have risen over the same seven-month period; besides, prices of nonfood products, especially the imported ones, have also shown upward tendency,” said Dr. Umarov.  “According to the most conservative estimates, consumer prices have risen at least 5 percent over the report period.”

We will recall that the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) has revised the 13 percent annual inflation rate for 2009 to 9 percent.  According to official data, annual inflation for 2008 stood at 11.8 percent, while some expert say it stood 20 percent.