Romania's central bank slightly raised its annual inflation forecast for this year but kept it unchanged for the end of 2024, Governor Mugur Isarescu said on Friday.

The bank expects inflation at 7.1% in December, compared with a previous forecast of 7.0%, influenced by vegetable prices. It sees inflation at 4.2% at end-2024, unchanged from the previous forecast and above its 1.5%-3.5% target band.

Earlier this week, policymakers held the benchmark interest rate at 7.0% for the third consecutive time, saying inflation would fall sharply in the short-term while a slowdown in economic growth would be subdued in the first and second quarters. (Reporting by Luiza Ilie;)