Competition Council warns: Prices might further increase

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A report released on Thursday by the Competition Council (CC) reads that, over short and medium term, the prices might further increase.

“It’s likely that over short and medium term the prices will increase further: the National Bank of Romania has anticipated a 2.7% consumer price index by the end of 2017, whereas the conjectural surveys conducted by the National Statistics Institute reveal price increases in retail, industry and constructions,” the report on competition in key sectors by the Competition Council reads, informs.

According to the report, during December 2016-July 2017 the prices at economy level have had an upward development.

The excise duties and the increase in labour cost expenses are among the factors leading to higher prices in the recent months.

Domestically, the Competition Council has noticed the inflationary pressures generated by the companies’ increase of production costs, consequent to higher unitary costs with labour force; the companies’ inflationary expectations regarding the future price development; increase of certain excise duties (e.g. on tobacco and fuels) and administrated prices; adverse climate conditions which have generated a negative impact on the energy market and on the foodstuff market.

Externally, it was noticed the influence of certain shocks in terms of offer for foodstuff (mainly for citrus fruits and southern fruits) as well as the diminishing of worldwide disinflation process (most raw materials, mainly energy-related ones, have registered an upward development since the end of 2016).

“These effects have resulted in more expensive imports for the goods bought by Romanian consumers and in higher inflation rate. According to the Report on Inflation (August 2017) released by the National Bank of Romania, the competitive pressure was one of the factors that led to limiting the price increases, given that the local companies have been constrained by the larger imports (to cover the increasing domestic demand) but also by the fact that the big retail chains want to exploit the growing market, including by successive discounts for foodstuff and other consumer goods (clothing and footwear),” the report further reads.

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