BUSINESS

Isarescu: Year end inflation rate could be less than 3.3 pc

Inflation rate at the end of 2011 could be less than the 3.3 per cent forecast by the central bank in its latest quarterly inflation report, Romanian National Bank (BNR) Governor Mugur Isarescu stated during the ‘Inflation – one phenomenon, several indicators’ seminar held at the BNR, yesterday.

In what regards the exchange rate, Mugur Isarescu noted it had been relatively steady, given the tension in the euro-zone, which resulted in much important depreciations of other Eastern European currencies.

According to the central bank official, BNR’s forex reserves are still at a high, above the optimal level, considering the existing reserve-import ratio. Mugur Isarescu also spoke about interest rates which, in his opinion, should ‘look better’, but which had fluctuated more than they actually grew.

‘If we look at the trend of interest rates for loans in RON, in the period from January 2009 to present, the crisis period, that is, the decrease is obvious. On the other hand, if we look at the period form May 2010, before the VAT rise, we will see that they have rather fluctuated despite of the many reasons to grow following the VAT hike and the adverse context we experienced. In other words, our opinion also about this field is – well, I wouldn’t call it optimistic – but I think the trends are normal. In my view, the interest rate for loans in RON will continue to drop in keeping with the inflation rate, apart from all these fluctuations.

The National Bank of Romania at the beginning of November reduced the 2011 inflation forecast from 4.6 per cent to 3.3 per cent and, for 2012, from 3.5 per cent to 3 per cent. According to BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu, in March 2012, the inflation rate could go down to 2 per cent and the price decrease could continue in the following period.

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