NSI REPORTED 4.3% INFLATION FOR THE FIRST TWO MONTHS OF 2002
Inflation for February 2002 was 1.6% month-on-month according to preliminary data of the National Statistics Institute (NSI). The inflation rate for January and February is the highest over the last four years, Radka Kunova, Head of NSI's Index of Consumer Prices Department commented.For comparison, in February 1998 statisticians reported 1.3% inflation month-on-month, and 0.7% in the same period of 1999. In 2000 February inflation rose to 1.1 per cent, but dropped to just 0.3% in the same month of 2001. In January 2002 consumer prices rose 2.7% from December 2001. The NSI reported 4.3% inflation for the first two months of 2002 alone. NSI officials declined comment but analysts, quoted by Reuters, attributed the higher January-February inflation to the hike of electricity, heating, medicines and tobacco products prices in line with the Government's reform programmes.