Economy

Romania, Hungary lead March inflation rate in the EU

Romania had the highest year-on year inflation rate in the European Union in March at 4.2 percent, followed by Hungary at 3.8 percent, Eurostat said in a press release.

The EU average inflation in March was 1.6 percent and 1.4 percent in the euro area. Eurostat said the main drivers of inflation were energy, services, food, alcohol and tobacco.

Among the leaders in inflation, Netherlands was the third with 2.9 percent. At the other end of the list, Portugal and Greece had the lowest inflation rates of 0.8 and one percent, respectively.

In Romania, opposition parties and trade unions are already blaming the government for letting inflation out of control on purpose, in order to reduce high costs in the wake of recent increases in minimum wages. Net minimum wages in Romania have risen to RON 1,263 (EUR 265) in February 2019 compared with RON 1,065 in the same month of 2017 and RON 1,162 in February 2018.