Update: Annual inflation rate up to 5pc in March, highest since June 2013. Statistics Institute to be subordinated to the PM. PNL requests Dancila’s resignation

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The annual inflation rate reached 5% in March 2018, up from 4.7% in the previous month, given a 6.57% increase of non-food goods prices, 4.01% increase of foodstuff and 2.9% of services.

A higher annual inflation rate was recorded in June 2013, when consumer prices increased by 5.37%.

In March, as compared to February, the consumer prices went up by 0.3%, as foodstuff prices grew by 0.48%, non-food products by 0.15% and services by 0.3%.

‘The average inflation rate during the past 12 months (April 2017 – March 2018) against the previous 12 months (April 2016 – March 2017), calculated on the basis of CPI, is 2.5%. Calculated on the basis of HICP, the average rate is 1.9%,” the National Statistics Institute (INS) informs.

In February, the National Bank of Romania (BNR) revised upwards to 3.5%, from 3.2%, the inflation forecast for the end of this year.

For the end of 2019, the BNR estimates an inflation rate of 3.1%.

National Statistics Institute to be subordinated to the PM

The Executive has approved on Thursday a decision to amend the Government Decision 957/2005 regarding the organisation and functioning of the National Statistics Institute (INS), to shift INS under the subordination of the Government and under to coordination of the Prime Minister, by the Government Secretariat General, decision approved by emergency ordinance in early 2017.

The substantiation note reads that INS shifts from the Government subordination and the coordination of the Government secretariat general, to the Government subordination and under the coordination of the Prime Minister, by the Government Secretariat General.

“We cannot say that it shifted under the subordination of the Prime Minister (…) The National Institute of Statistics was in the Prime Minister’s coordination before. What happened through this change? There are two aspects (…) Firstly, it is a legislative harmonisation. The government decision on the National Institute of Statistics is placed in accordance with the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 1/2017. Secondly, it is an update of the land registry,” Government spokesman, Nelu Barbu, explained.

PNL’s Raluca Turcan charges PM Dancila of subordinating the INS, calls for her resignation

The leader of PNL deputies, Raluca Turcan, has charged Prime Minister Viorica Dancila of subordinating the INS.

“As of today, the economic specialist Viorica Dancila will approve all the INS releases! PSD-ALDE want to take over another institution of the Romanian state. Now it’s INS’s turn. PM Viorica Dancila has just subordinated the INS, by Government decision. This decision has no other reason but the fact that INS has revealed the truth about economic realities: the fast growth of inflation to 5%; the decrease of the net wage by RON 145 in January; the decrease of wages in the health system. Such a decision of the Prime Minister should lead to the urgent resignation of the Premier. That’s all we were missing: the great economic specialist, Viorica Dancila, to approve any release from the INS!” Raluca Turcan wrote on her Facebook page.

FinMin Teodorovici: We have nothing to reproach to INS. Inflation will go down by the year-end

Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici told Antena 3 on Thursday night that he had not tackled the INS issue during the meeting with the PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea and that they have nothing to contest about the INS figures on the public salary cuts.

“We are not challenging the INS data, it only depends on how these data are interpreted, but we have nothing to reproach to INS,” he said.

As for the growing inflation, the Finance minister said it would go down by the end of this year.

“It would probably rise a little bit more, then it will go down. Now we are around 5%, it will be 3.1% by the end of the year, as estimated,” he added.

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