Romania was among twelve member states across the European Union to register a negative inflation in December 2015, ranking second with a -0.7 percent inflation rate, after Bulgaria (-0.9 percent), according to data released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.
The highest annual rates were recorded in Belgium (1.4 percent), Malta (1.2 percent) and Austria (1.1 percent).
Both the EU and the euro area registered annual inflation rates of 0.2 percent in December 2015, both climbing from the 0.1 percent registered at the end of 2014.
Compared with November 2015, annual inflation fell in nine member states, remained stable in three and rose in 15. Romania saw a 0.2 percent increase in the inflation rate in December 2015 compared to the previous month.
Romania’s inflation entered negative territory in the summer of 2015 when VAT for food products was reduced from 24 to 9 percent. The National Bank estimates negative values will persist until May this year, ending 2016 at 1.1 percent and entering the central bank’s target interval (2.5 percent, plus/minus 1) in 2017.
The European Central Bank is counting on a rise in prices of below 2 percent in the euro area. However, the inflation was below the target since early 2013 and last year even fell into negative territory while the oil price have been significantly reduced.