NewsIn’s poll of economists and analysts showed inflation expectations at 4.7-4.8% at the end of 2009, at narrow margin above the central bank’s inflation target, largely due to the increase in excises. They also said the disinflationary trend would restart in February.
“The increase in excises and seasonal food price growth have pushed inflation rate up, but we expect it to stand below 4% in the first half of 2010. In January, we will most likely see a high monthly rate, because of excises, without a sharp impact on the annual rate due to a favorable base effect. The disinflationary trend will most likely resume in February”, Ionut Dumitru, senior economist at Raiffeisen Bank told NewsIn.

He said he expects an inflation rate of 4.8% at the end of December, with a monthly rate of 0.4%. Over the past month, the leu gained around 1.5% to 4.2248 units/euro from 4.2881 lei/euro in November.

Senior economist of UniCredit Tiriac Bank, Rozalia Pal says inflation would come in at 4.7% and December monthly rate at 0.25%.

“The increase in excises will reflect in the growth of non-food product prices, such as tobacco and fuel. We may actually see a decline in services, due to an appreciation of the local currency”, Pal added.

ING’s senior economist Nicolae Alexandru Chidesciuc says inflation was 4.7% at the end of December narrowly above the upper target range limit set by the National Bank of Romania. “In order to contain inflation within the target range, the monthly rate for December should have been 0.1%, which is pretty unlikely”, said Chidesciuc.

In the press release published by the central bank last week, after its decision to cut main rate, the central bank estimated the impact of tobacco excise raise over the annual inflation rate at 1.8%.

Annual inflation rate stood at 4.65% in November 2009, from 4.3% in the previous month, following an increase in excises and food product growth.

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