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It's Official: Ukraine Is Suffering From Crippling Inflation

Consumer prices were up 60.9% higher in April from the year before

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This article originally appeared at Market Watch

KIEV, Ukraine - Annual inflation in Ukraine hit its highest level in more than a decade in April as a dramatic increase in energy rates drove up consumer prices, the government said Wednesday.

<figcaption>The world's worst-performing currency</figcaption>
The world's worst-performing currency

Consumer prices were up 60.9% higher in April from the year before, Ukraine's state statistics agency wrote on its website. There was 14% inflation in the first four months of 2015 alone.

The dramatic increase was largely due to a rise in energy prices: according to the agency, the cost of natural gas rose by more than five times in April, more than doubling total utility costs for households. Food prices increased by 4.4%, slowing from 15.6% in March.

The new energy prices were part of a package of reforms passed by Ukraine's parliament last month. In March, the International Monetary Fund approved a $17.5 billion emergency loan as part of a larger $40 billion international package, but has demanded key reforms from the Ukrainian government. Ukraine is currently in talks with creditors to restructure its debt.

Ukraine's economy has struggled to recover from a collapsing currency and ongoing conflict in the east of the country: last week, the World Bank said that it predicted the country's gross domestic product would drop by 7.5% and that consumer inflation would hit 32% in 2015.

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