Romania’s annual inflation rate increased to 4 percent in March, from 3.8 percent in February, as food and fuel prices went up and RON’s depreciation fueled price increases in imported goods.
Le level is slightly above expectations as analysts estimated that Romania’s inflation rate rose by 0.1 percentage point in March to 3.9 percent driven by higher oil prices and a weaker Romanian currency.
Compared with March 2018, the prices of food products rose by 4.45 percent on average, while non-food products increased by 4.15 percent. The prices of services went up by 3.2 percent, National Institute of Statistics (INS) data show.
Compared with February, consumer prices in Romania rose by 0.5 percent, as food prices increased by 0.5 percent, non-food products’ prices went up by 0.5 percent, and services’ prices rose by 0.4 percent.
The biggest price increases compared with February were recorded for citrus (4.5 percent), potatoes (4.4 percent – the third month in a row of significant increase), other vegetables (3.45 percent), while the biggest monthly price decreases were registered for eggs (-5 percent) air flight tickets (3.4 percent).
In January, the Romanian currency lost almost 2 percent of its value against the EUR pushing up prices in telephone services or imported food and non-food’s prices – and during winter, most of the food consumed in Romania is imported.
The price of fuels rose by 1.1 percent on the previous month and by 3.8 percent against end-2018.
The central bank had an inflation estimate of 3 percent for December 2019.
Romania was the country with the highest annual inflation rate among the European Union member states for most of last year in terms of inflation measured by Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP), according to Eurostat.
The HICP index used by Eurostat measure price with a unified basket of consumer products and services for the 28 EU member states.
But the Romanian basket of consumer products and services, which includes a higher percentage of food products (31.9 percent of total basket), shows a different picture.