The rise of consumer prices tempered to 0.49 pct this March compared to February, but the annual inflation rate rose to 4 pct due to food prices increasing 4.45 pct, non-food prices advancing 4.15 pct and services growing 3.18 pct more expensive, shows data released on Tuesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).
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In February consumer prices were up 0.79 pct compared to January, and the annual inflation rate was 3.83 pct.
In March 2019 consumer prices were 4.0 pct higher YoY. The annual rate based on the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) is 4.2 pct. The average consumer price index in the last 12 months (April 2018 - March 2019) compared to the previous 12 months (April 2017 - March 2018) based on the HICP is 4.4 pct. The HICP-based average rate is 4.1 pct, INS said.
The the steepest price increase in March compared to February was for citrus fruits - 4.5 pct, and potatoes - 4.41 pct; the most important price decreases were recorded for eggs, which grew by 5 pct cheaper.
The National Bank of Romania (BNR) raised its inflation forecast for the end of this year to 3 pct and estimates an inflation of 3.1 for the end of 2020, BNR governor Mugur Isarescu announced in February, as he presented the central bank's Quarterly Inflation Report.
In November 2018 BNR was estimating an inflation of 2.9 pct for the end of this year and of 3.2 pct for 2020.
According to the National Bank of Romania, the annual inflation rate will trend downwards till Q3 2019 (to 2.4 pct) on account of exogenous components and of the consumer basket.
Subsequently, inflation will reposition and stay in the upper half of the target band, as the favorable effects of fuel and citrus price cuts at the end of 2018 will fade out, but also due to the rising contribution of the basic inflation. AGERPRES .