Romania central bank cuts 2013 inflation forecast

EU

The National Bank of Romania lowered its 2013 inflation forecast, bolstering a pledge to trim borrowing costs as price growth slows more than previously predicted. The year-end inflation rate will probably be 3.2%, rising to 3.3% in 2014, within the central bank’s target of 1.5% to 3.5%, Governor Mugur Isarescu said Wednesday. That compares with a Feb. 7 estimate of 3.5% inflation for this year and 3.2% for next. Persistently high inflation, at 5.3% in March, has prevented Romania’s central bank from following its neighbors in cutting rates to help the European Union’s second-poorest economy, which grew 0.7% last year. The bank last week left its main interest rate on hold at a record low 5.25% for a ninth successive meeting but said it would soon start to lower borrowing costs as stubbornly above-target inflation eased.

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