Central Bank Predicts 7-8% Inflation in 2008

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Central Bank Predicts 7-8% Inflation in 2008

Inflation at the end of 2008 may reach 7-8 per cent, Bulgarian National Bank Governor Ivan Iskrov told journalists on Friday, BTA reported

Earlier, the central bank officially projected 6.5 per cent inflation this year, but with the updating of the prices of electricity, natural gas and central heating the inflation rate will be higher by one or one and a half percentage points, Iskrov said.

Since the beginning of this year there has been a gradual easing of inflation if each month is compared to the previous one.

Over the last month inflation in Bulgaria stood at 0.9 per cent by harmonized index, whereas such countries as Luxembourg and Greece had 1 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively.

If structural reforms continue, if the government honours its commitment to control the growth of wages, if there are no surprises on the oil market, and if food prices are influenced positively by good harvests, the inflation rate will not be a double-digit figure like last year, the central bank governor said.

He described as positive the fact that since the beginning of this year the growth of exports has outstripped inflation growth. There is a stabilization and even a reduction of the ratio of the foreign debt to GDP, Iskrov said.

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