Higher prices. Romania’s inflation rate surges to 3.8 pct in February on higher food prices, weaker RON

Sorin Melenciuc 12/03/2019 | 11:00

Romania’s annual inflation rate increased to 3.8 percent in February, from 3.3 percent in January, as food prices went up and RON’s depreciation refueled price increases in imported goods.

Compared with February 2018, the prices of food products rose by 4.5 percent on average, while non-food products increased by 3.7 percent. The prices of services went up by 3.1 percent, National Institute of Statistics (INS) data show.

Compared with January, consumer prices in Romania rose by 0.8 percent, as food prices increased by 1.3 percent, non-food products’ prices went up by 0.6 percent, and services’ prices rose by 0.55 percent.

The biggest price increases compared with January were recorded for potatoes (10 percent – for the second month in a row), other vegetables (8.1 percent) and citrus (3.4 percent), while the biggest monthly price decreases were registered for eggs (-1.7 percent).

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

The price of fuels rose by 2 percent on the previous month and by 2.7 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. In January, Romania maintained the first position in the EU in terms of inflation.

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.

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