Rising energy prices brought consumer price inflation in Romania to 4.95% in July, about half a percentage point higher than market consenus.
That was a steep rise from the 3.8-3.9% in May-June, the statistics office (INS) said on Wednesday.
Electricity price soared by nearly one quarter compared to July 2020 after a rise of another 4.2% in July compared to June.
Gas prices rose by 20.5% versus the previous month. Many consumers did not rush to change their expiring contracts after prices were deregulated.
Fuel prices rose by 2.1% with a knock-on effect on food prices.
Heating costs dipped slightly in July compared to June, but they will be revised as the cold season approaches.
Central bank governor Mugur Isarescu pledged to “prevent energy prices from passing through into the regulated prices of utilities” . It remains unclear how this can be done.
The government has not yet published the budget revision that in principle should see a smaller deficit, with economic recovery quicker than expected.
Based on the harmonized consumer basket used in the European Union, the inflation rate in Romania is still only 3.8% in July, up from 3.5% in June.
Food prices increased on average by only 2.3% in July, compared to the same month of 2020. Non-food prices swelled by 7.6% year-on-year in July.
ING Bank has revised its year-end inflation forecast upward to 5.5% from 4.7%.
Customers face huge heating bills after biggest gas supplier hikes prices by 25% starting July 1