Higher consumer prices. Romania begins 2019 with the highest inflation in the EU

Sorin Melenciuc 22/02/2019 | 16:45

Romania has maintained in January the first position in the European Union in terms of inflation, with an annual inflation rate of 3.2 percent measured by Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP), Eurostat data showed on Friday.

Romania has posted the highest inflation rate in the EU for most of last year.

“The highest annual rates were recorded in Romania (3.2 percent), Latvia (2.9 percent), Estonia and Hungary (both 2.8 percent). Compared with December 2018, annual inflation fell in sixteen Member States, remained stable in five and rose in seven,” EU’s statistical branch said.

The HICP index used by Eurostat measure price with a unified basket of consumer products and services for the 28 member states.

But the Romanian basket of consumer products and services, which includes a higher percentage of food products, shows a different picture.

According to National Institute of Statistics (INS) data, the annual inflation rate, measuring the evolution of consumption prices in the last year, slightly increased to 3.32 percent in January, from 3.27 percent in December, as RON’s depreciation refueled price increases in imported goods and some services

Compared with January 2018, the prices of food products rose by 3.8 percent on average, while non-food products increased by 3.3 percent. The prices of services went up by 2.7 percent.

Compared with December 2018, consumer prices in Romania rose by 0.83 percent, the highest rate in 12 months, as food prices increased by 1.3 percent, non-food products’ prices went up by 0.6 percent, and services’ prices rose by 0.6 percent.

In January, the Romanian currency lost almost 2 percent of its value against the EUR pushing up prices in telephone services (+1 percent) or imported food’s prices – and during winter, most food in Romania is imported.

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