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Romania, highest annual inflation rate in EU in May as well

May 2011 was the tenth month in a row when Romania reported the highest annual inflation rate in the European Union, 8.5 percent, trailed way behind by Estonia with 5.5 percent and Lithuania with 5 percent, according to data revealed on Thursday by the statistical office of the European Commission (Eurostat).

If the annual inflation rate in Romania went up from 8.4 percent in April to 8.5 percent in May, the annual rate in the eurozone dropped to 2.7 percent in May from 2.8 percent in April and the annual inflation in the EU dropped to 3.2 percent in May from 3.3 percent in April.

The countries with the lowest annual inflation rate were Ireland (1.2 percent), Sweden (1.7 percent) and the Czech Republic (2.0 percent). Compared to April 2011, the annual inflation rate went up in 14 member states, remained constant in four and dropped in nine.

Romania ranks first in the EU in point of average rise of general level of prices for the past 12 months, with a 7.5 percent advance, followed by Greece (4.8 percent and Estonia (4.5 percent). At the opposite side there are Ireland (minus 0.2 percent), Sweden (1.5 percent) and the Netherlands (1.6 percent).

The data made available by the National Institute of Statistics reveal that the average monthly inflation rate was 0.21 percent in May compared to April 2011, and that it stood at 0.6 percent in the first five months. Prices for consumer goods went up in May by 8.41 on a year-over-year basis. The National Bank of Romania believes inflation might still witness a slight increase by June, Agerpres reports.