Romanian furniture manufacturers delivered last year almost EUR 1.9 billion worth of goods abroad, up 12.5% from 2013. Exports are expected to pass EUR 2 billion this year for the first time in history, as industry group APMR forecasts a 7% increase in sales compared to 2014.
Oil and gas companies are pushing for a drop in royalties on grounds that the falling international prices have cut into their profits. The companies have also requested the elimination of the pole tax and of the additional taxes on extraction operations, as well as the deregulation of the natural gas market.
Romania reported for the second quarter of this year a 7.7% increase in the hourly cost of labor, the second-highest in the European Union, according to data released on Wednesday by Eurostat. The biggest gains were reported by industrial and services workers: 7.9% and 7.6%, respectively.
The potential GDP, an indicator of aggregated offer in an economy when production factors are used at their actual capacity, has been trending up since last year and is expected to soar to 4.5% year-on-year in 2017, according to an analysis released by Banca Transilvania. The analysis took into account the new Fiscal Code, but not the state employees' salaries bill, which could boost economic growth even further and trigger a BNR rate increase in order to rein in consumption.
Agents representing the debt collection companies will no longer be allowed to call debtors more than twice a week and they will be required to speak politely and refrain from disclosing the financial situation of debtors. The Commercial Debts Management Association (AMCC) represents approximately 80% of all debt collection companies operating in Romania.
The Chamber's Budget, Finances and Banking Commission resumed yesterday the discussion of the CHF loans conversion bill submitted by Deputy Ana Birchall (PSD). Deputy Viorel Stefan (PSD) asked the Ministry of Finance to bring before the commission the conversion proposal made by Minister Teodorovici in order to analyze the two options and, possibly, combine their best aspects.
The banks operating on the Romanian market had on January 1, 2015, a total of 57,880 employees hired through labor contracts, down 12 from the beginning of 2014, according to data released by the Labor Inspectorate (IM). BT, BRD-GSG and BCR were responsible for the bulk of new hiring efforts, while Bancpost, CEC Bank and Credit Europe Bank Romania headed the layoffs index.
Hornbach, one of the main DIY retailers in Romania, has starting working on its sixth store. The new store will be located in Sibiu and will display approximately 30,000 items on 12,000 sqm of retail space. "The store will feature a 1,700 sqm storage zone for heavy materials," said CEO Mugurel-Horia Rusu.
Polish group Orbis has signed partnerships with local entrepreneurs to open two new hotels in Arad and Brasov under the Ibis Styles and Mercure brands. Construction of both hotels is scheduled to begin this year, while the official openings were scheduled for 2017. Orbis manages seven hotels in Romania, including the Ibis chain and the Bucharest Novotel and Mercure hotels.
Iulius Management Center, a developer of mixed real estate projects controlled by businessman Iulian Dascalu, will begin next week the construction of a EUR 220 million real estate project in Timisoara. The project will feature office space, retail space, a park and an entertainment area.
President Klaus Iohannis stated during Wednesday's speech delivered to the Parliament that Romania needs flexible, simple and stable legislation. The President pointed out that the Fiscal Code, the Education Law and the Healthcare Reform Law had been amended dozens of times in 2015 alone.
Senator Ilie Sarbu (PSD) was elected vice-president of the Court of Accounts' Audit Authority (AA) during yesterday's joint session of the Parliament. 290 MPs voted in favor and 108 against. Sarbu will resign his Parliament seat in order to join the Court of Accounts.
The National Anti-drug Agency (ANA) announced that it would continue to run drug consumption prevention programs in schools across the country. The projects are designed for primary, secondary and high school students.