Lazea (BNR): decline in index of consumer prices below 3%, very unlikely

The return of the consumer price index to less than 3% is very unlikely in the context in which the increase in GDP with a rate of over 6% will maintain inflation high, on September 15 said the chief economist of Romania’s Central Bank (BNR), Valentin Lazea, in the Young Economists Conference.
„Any rise in GDP of over 6% will maintain inflation high and its decrease to below 3% is very unlikely,” said the BNR official.
Valentin Lazea added that BNR maintains the objective of Romania’s joining the eurozone in 2014.
Prices fell in August 2008, when deflation of 0.09% was recorded, whereas the annual inflation (August 2007 – August 2008) fell to 8.02% versus 9.04% in July, according to the data published recently by the National Statistics Institute (INS).
The deflation recorded in August 2008 is the first monthly decline in prices in the past 2 years, after the deflation in August 2006.

In the first 8 months of 2008, the cumulated inflation rate stood at 4.19% and the monthly average rate stood at 0.5% versus 0.3% in 2007.
Compared with July 2008, the prices of the foods rose 0.2%, the prices of non-food products remained at the same level and the tariffs of services fell 0.9%.
Versus August 2007, the price of foods rose 8.79%, the tariffs of services rose 6.99% and the prices of the non-food products rose 7.75%.
The median rise in prices in the past 12 months (August 2007 – July 2008) against the previous 12 months (August 2006 – July 2007) established on the basis of IPC stands at 7.7%, and the one established on the basis of the harmonized index of the consumer prices (IAPC) stands at 7.8%.
BNR vice-governor Cristian Popa estimated in early September it is possible for the inflation rate to reach 6.5% in 2008, namely almost double versus the inflation target of 3.8%.
At the start of August, BNR revised upwards by 0.6% the forecast on the 2008 inflation from 6 to 6.6%.
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