ECONOMY FINANCE&BANKING

Inflation rate at record low: minus 3 pc in March*Consumer Price Index for food down 6.74 pc By Costin Buradu

Annual inflation kept negative in March, at minus 3 percent, down from minus 2.7 percent in February, according to data released by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Monday.
‘Consumer prices, measured through the Consumer Price Index (CPI) were 3 percent lower in March 2016 compared with March 2015. Based on the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), the decline stood at minus 2.4 percent,’ the INS shows.
In March 2016, the goods and services which registered a price decline compared with March 2015 account for 58.8 percent, those which recorded growth between 0 and 2.5 percent hold a 24.6 percent share, and goods and services with price increases over 2.5 percent hold a 16.6 percent share.
The average increase in consumer prices over the past 12 months (April 2015 – March 2016) compared with the previous 12 months (April 2014 – March 2015), calculated according to the CPI, stands at minus 1.4 percent. Determined according to the HICP, the average rate is minus 1.1 percent, the INS informs.
In March 2016 compared with March 2015, foodstuff consumer prices dropped 6.74 percent.
The National Bank of Romania (BNR) early this year was estimating an inflation rate of minus 3 percent for the end of March 2016. According to the BNR, In absence of the first In absence of the VAT reduction step, inflation would have reached 1.3 percent at the end of this year’s first quarter. The inflation target of the central bank for 2016 stands at 2.5 percent +/- 1 percentage point.
BNR modified to 1.4 percent the inflation prognosis for the end of this year, up 0.3 percentage points from the previous estimate of 1.1 percent, according to data presented by BNR governor Mugur Isarescu in a press conference in February.
The National Prognosis Commission (CNP) maintained in its 2016 winter prognosis the projection concerning inflation at the end of this year at 1.8 percent and at 2.5 percent for next year, the estimations being similar to those in the autumn prognosis released at end-November 2015.

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