Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Bulgarian inflation slowed in September as the domestic harvest held down food costs and prices of leisure activities declined.
Consumer prices rose 3.3 percent from a year earlier, after a 4.1 percent increase in August, the National Statistics Institute in the capital, Sofia, said today in a statement. The median estimate of three economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 3.5 percent. Prices were unchanged from the previous month.
Bulgaria’s currency-board system limits options for the central bank to stem price growth through interest rates. Factory-gate prices slowed to an annual 6.6 percent in August, the slowest growth in 14 months, according to Bloomberg data.
Food prices, the biggest item in the consumer basket, with a 36.6 percent weighting, rose 0.1 percent from the preceding month, the statistics office said. Leisure prices declined 4 percent from August as the summer holiday season wound up.
The International Monetary Fund cut its inflation forecasts for Bulgaria on May 20 to an average of 4.2 percent this year and 3 percent in 2012, from 4.8 percent and 3.7 percent respectively. The government forecasts inflation at 3.6 percent in 2011.
--With assistance from Zoya Shilova in Moscow. Editors: James M. Gomez, Douglas Lytle
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