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Romanian inflation rate fell to a 17-year low in February

Romania's annual inflation rate fell to a 17-year low in February as a lack of increases in regulated prices helped curb consumer-price growth.

Inflation slowed to 3.8% from 4% in January, the National Statistics Institute said in an e-mailed news release today. The monthly rate rose 0.04% in February compared with 0.2% in January. The inflation rate was less than the median estimate of six economists in a Bloomberg survey for an annual rate of 4%.

Romania's central bank targets an annual inflation rate of 4%, plus or minus one percentage point, at the end of this year. The country, which joined the European Union on January 1, wants to keep inflation low as it aims to adopt the euro in 2014. A mission from the International Monetary Fund that ended a visit to Bucharest, Romania's capital, last week, said government wage and spending policies threaten to reignite inflation this year. (Bloomberg)