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Consumer prices had a moderate increase rate in February, of 0.24 pc, down from 1.34 pc in the first month of the year, although fuels got 1.3 pc more expensive, vegetables almost 3 pc, and the annual rate diminished from 5.97 pc, the maximum of last year and a half, to 5.65 pc, according to latest data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS).The prices of non-food goods increased above average in February, by 0.42 pc, driven by the 1.3 pc increase of fuel prices and 0.5 pc of cigarettes. With the exception of culture and sport products (1.28 pc), the prices of the other goods belonging to this category went up less than 0.3 pc. Despite the seasonal influence, manifest in the higher prices of vegetables and canned food (2.91 pc), higher in the case of potatoes (4 pc), the prices of food goods advanced by an average 0.3 pc, adjusted by slight decreases for some basic products: eggs (5.9 pc), oil (0.7 pc), sugar (0.1 pc). The most significant hike was reported in the category water, sewer and sanitation (0.7 pc).The Central Bank’s inflation rate forecast in 2013 stays at 3.5 pc, to be followed by 3.2 pc in 2014. BNR estimates that the inflation rate will stand at 5-6 pc in the first half of this year, then it will decrease, but its level will largely depend on the evolution of volatile prices, such as those in agriculture.The inflation increased in December 2012, the annual rate of 4.95 pc falling outside the variation interval around the target and above the 3.14 pc level registered in December 2011. According to official sources, BNR informed the IMF experts that it expects the inflation target for this year to be missed, because of the adjustment of administered prices, but the deviation from the targeted interval will be much smaller than in 2012.
Imports worth EUR 4 bln, exports of EUR 3.6 bln
In January 2013, according to preliminary estimations made by INS, FOB (Free On Board) exports amounted to RON 16.30 bln (EUR 3.69 bln) and CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) imports reached 17.61 bln (EUR 4.00 bln). Compared to January 2012, exports advanced by 3.0 pc if expressed in RON (+1.3 pc in EUR). Against December 2012, the exports of January 2013 soared by 15.4 pc if expressed in RON (18.0 pc in EUR), while imports diminished by 2.8 pc in RON (0.7 pc in EUR). The FOB-CIF trade deficit in January 2013 stood at RON 1,311.4 M (EUR 300.8 M), down RON 681.4 M (EUR 159.4 M) from January 2012. The intra-community exchanges of goods in January 2013 amounted to an outflow of RON 11504.1 M (EUR 2626.9 M) and an inflow of RON 13090.7 M (EUR 2989.2 M), accounting for 71.0 pc of total exports and 74.7 pc of total imports. The value of extra-community exchanges of goods in January 2013 included exports of RON 4803.3 M (EUR 1072.7 M) and imports of RON 4528.1 M (EUR 1011.2 M), representing 29.0 pc of total exports and 25.3 pc of total imports. In January 2013, important shares of total exports and imports were held by the groups of products: transport machines and equipment (41.7 pc of exports and 35.4 pc of imports) and other manufactured products (34.3 pc of exports and 29.5 pc of imports).