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Russian weekly inflation eases further after recent spike

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FILE PHOTO: Customer shops at Victoria supermarket operated by Russian food retailer Dixy Group in Moscow

(Reuters) -Russia's weekly inflation rate eased further in May, data from statistics service Rosstat showed on Wednesday, after spiking sharply soon after Russia began what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Inflation is slowing even after the central bank lowered its key interest rate to 14% from 17% in April and said it saw room for more cuts, as it tries to manage a shrinking economy and high inflation.

Inflation was 0.05% in the week to May 13, down from 0.12% a week earlier and well below the 2.22% hit in early March.

For the first time in many weeks, annual inflation also slowed, to 17.69% from 17.77% a week earlier, the economy ministry said.

Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov said earlier on Wednesday that inflation will slow further after consumer prices in Russia rose 11.84% year-to-date, according to Rosstat.

Prices on nearly everything, from vegetables and sugar to clothes and smartphones, have risen sharply in recent weeks as Russia encountered logistics disruptions and increased volatility in the rouble.

Annual inflation accelerated to 17.83% in April, its highest since January 2002. The central bank, which targets inflation of 4%, said the annual increase in consumer prices was on track to reach to 18-23% in the whole of 2022.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Kirsten Donovan)