Month-on-month, consumer prices rose 0.35%, non-food increased by 0.56%, while services grew 0.47% and food 0.02%.

The Association of Financial-Banking Analysts in Romania had expected an average monthly inflation rate of 0.4% and annual inflation rate of 4.3%.

In the trailing month, the annual inflation dropped to 4.2% from 4.49% in February.

The biggest price rises were observed in drugs (3.96%), books and magazines (1.42%), citrus and other southern fruits (1.52%) and in other vegetables and canned vegetables apart from leguminous vegetables and potatoes (1.06%).

However, the biggest drops were observed in egg prices (5.96%), bean and other leguminous (1.08%) and potatoes (1.09%).

The year-on-year increase in consumer price index during May 2009 – April 2010 – an important benchmark in the accession criteria to the euro area – fell in April to 4.9% from 5.1% a month earlier, while HICP-based inflation (harmonized index of consumer prices) dropped to 4.9% from 5%.

The National Bank of Romania set a year-end inflation target of 3.5% with -/+1 tolerance band. For the third time in a row, the central bank missed inflation target in 2009.