The high consumer price indices since the beginning of the year have led to a rise in the inflation environment. According to trend data, January through April 2002 indicated an increase in the rate of CPI rises to an annual rate of 8.1%, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. This followed an annual rate of 2.7% indicated since the beginning of 2001. The government inflation target for 2002 is 2-3%.

The Central Bureau of Statistics trend data further indicate that the January ¿April 2002 CPIs without the housing item indicate an annual increase of 4.8%.

Economist estimate that upcoming CPIs will also be high, meaning actual inflation will significantly exceed the government target for this year. These estimates have led to expectations for a 1% rise in key lending rates at the end of the month.