Romania Feb Inflation Seen At +0.5% MM

Publish date: 09-03-2009
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Romanian consumer price index is seen up by 0.5% in February against the month before, while the yearly inflation is expected to slow down to 6.5% from 6.71% on the backdrop of a stable exchange rate and tempered internal demand, analysts said Sunday.

"We expect demand pressure to gradually fall, which should translate in very little price increases," ING Bank Romania economist Nicolaie Chidesciuc told a MEDIAFAX poll.

Chidesciuc said disinflation will continue until June, but after that the process could be discontinued and inflation might accelerate to 8% by the end of the year.

Florian Libocor, chief economist at BRD - Groupe Societe Generale, sees the monthly consumer price index at 0.3% in February and at 6.6% on the year.

"The inflation slowdown in February was driven by stabilization of the exchange rate and of prices in the "energy" category of products, as well as by a tempered internal demand," Libocor said.

He said inflation will reach 5% by the end of 2009, a "slightly pessimistic, yet cautious level", considering the global trend toward lower consumption prices.

On a more pessimistic note, Raiffeisen Bank Romania's chief economist Ionut Dumitru said the monthly consumer price index grew by 0.7% in February, while the annual inflation widened to 6.7-6.8%.

In January, Romanian consumer price index rose by a higher than expected 1.24% compared with the previous month, and the annual inflation widened to 6.71%, from 6.3% end-December, according to the National Statistics Institute data.

The central bank targets a 3.5% inflation rate for 2009, with one percentage point variation band. It recently said it expects annual inflation to decrease to 4.5% by the end of 2009, from 6.3% in December 2008.


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