Annual inflation rises to 8.63 percent in March

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The inflation rate was 0.67 percent in March and the annual inflation (March 2007-March 2008) rose to 8.63 pc as against 7.97 pc in February, according to the data published by the National Statistics Institute on April 14.
 
In the first quarter 2008 the cumulated inflation rate was 2.25 percent and the monthly average rate amounted to 0.7 percent as against 0.1 percent in 2007.
 
As compared with February 2008 food prices increased by 0.55 percent on average, services got more expensive by 0.92 percent and non-food goods rose in price by 0.67 percent.
 
As against March 2007 foods grew dearer by 1.74 percent, the prices of services increased by 3.58 percent and the prices of non-food goods went up by 2.13 percent.
 
The average increase in prices as a whole in the past 12 months (December 2006-November 2007) as against the previous 12 months, which was ascertained on the basis of the consumer price index (CPI), as well as the one ascertained on the basis of the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) is 5.9 percent.
 
A week ago Vice-Governor of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) Cristian Popa told Rompres that in March there would be a peak of the annual inflation rate, which will be close to 8.3 percent as predicted by BNR, and inflation would clearly decrease in the second part of the year.
 
For 2008 BNR has a 3.8 percent inflation target, plus or minus one percent, and according to Cristian Popa, at the end of this year inflation will be 5.9 percent. BNR estimates that inflation will come up to 3.9 percent and does not intend to revise these targets in 2009, said the BNR Vice-Governor.
 
Late last year the annual inflation rate was 6.57 percent as against 4.87 percent in December 2006, outside the 3-5 percent variation interval associated with the 4 percent inflation target.
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