The annual inflation rate reached this year’s high of 3.88 per cent, surpassing the National Bank of Romania’s (BNR) 3.2 per cent forecast, after prices grew by 0.51 per cent in August as a result of hikes mainly in the prices of fuel and vegetables, the data that the National Statistics Institute (INS) revealed yesterday shows.Compared to the month before, in August 2012 the prices of foodstuffs grew by 0.7 per cent, those of non-food merchandise by 0.5 per cent and those of services by 0.1 per cent. “The average overall price hike in the last 12 months (September 2011 – August 2012), compared to the previous 12 months (September 2010 – August 2011), determined on the basis of the CPI (consumer price index – editor’s note), stands at 2.8 per cent, while the one determined on the basis of the harmonized consumer price index (HCPI) stands at 2.9 per cent,” the INS communiqué adds. Another INS report shows that industrial production grew in H1 compared to the same period last year, both as a gross series (+0.6 per cent) and as a series adjusted to the number of working days and seasonality (+1.1 per cent). The 8.1 per cent hike in the production and distribution of electricity, heating, natural gas, warm water and air conditioning had the most important contribution to the positive result. On the other hand, in the first seven months the processing industry and the extractive industry dropped by 0.4 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively.Likewise, the turnover of corporate market services also grew in the first seven months, by 5.8 per cent as a gross series and by 6.3 per cent as a series adjusted to the number of working days and seasonality, INS informs. The biggest hikes in the first seven months were registered in storage activities and activities auxiliary to transportation (+7.6 per cent), air transportation (+7.6 per cent), water transportation (+7.6 per cent), land and pipeline transportation (+6.1 per cent), telecommunications (+3.7 per cent), juridical and accountability activities, management consultancy activities (+3.4 per cent).On the other hand, drops were registered when it comes to architecture and engineering, technical testing and analysis activities (-1.4 per cent), postal and courier activities (-0.3 per cent).