ECONOMY

Romanian CPI edges up

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Higher prices for goods and services pushed up the Romanian consumer price index to 1.6 percent in October from 0.6 percent in September, the National Statistics Board (INS) said yesterday. An INS statement said that year-on-year inflation edged down to 18.8 percent last month from 19.8 percent in September. Prices were 13.2 percent up from last December. It said average monthly inflation over the January-October period was 1.2 percent, compared with 2.2 percent in the same period of 2001. Food prices rose by 0.9 percent compared with September’s 0.1 percent rise, with prices for vegetables rising by 4 percent and prices for meat by 0.6 percent. Non-food product prices rose by 2.4 percent, with tariffs for electricity, gas and heating rising by 3.1 percent. Prices for services went up by 1.6 percent. Analysts in a Reuters poll in November said they expected inflation to pick up in the coming months, with the month of November’s consumer price inflation increasing by 1.7 percent. Romania aims to slash inflation, the highest in the region, to 22 percent in 2002 and to 14 percent in 2003. The Reuters poll forecast year-on-year inflation dropping to 18.2 percent at the end of 2002, down from 19.4 percent in a previous poll in October.