The National Forecasting Committee (CNP) revised at the end of last week the macro-economic data anticipating important increases, from GDP to salaries and consumption, which offers an image if not spectacular at least reassuring in terms of the future in the medium run. The National Forecasting Committee, which anticipated for 2009 an increase in the GDP of 6% in the fall of 2008 (the economy decreased by 7% in 2009) modified the GDP for this year, slightly higher, from the increase of 3.3% anticipated in the spring to an increase of 3.4%. The economy increased by 3.7% in Q1. There are important modifications in the years to come, for the GDP forecast: the Committee modified the growth forecast for next year from 3.4% to 4.1%, for 2017 from 3.7% to 4.2%, and for 2018, from 4.0% to 4.5%. In 2019, the GDP will increase by 4.7% compared to the previous year, according to the forecasts of the institution. At the same time, the GDP might increase from 3% this year to 4.3% in 2019. The potential GDP, calculated by BNR in 2015 at 4%, is one of the reasons why the National Bank threatened threatened to reverse the key-interest decreasing trend, now at 1.75%. The National Bank is afraid that an economic growth over this level, as a result of the impulsion of consumption (thanks to the reduction of taxes), will overheat the economy fueling the inflation and increasing the commercial deficit and current account deficit.
Mihaela Mitroi, leader of the fiscal and legal consulting department from PwC, notices that through the fiscal measures made so far, the Government favored the short-term earnings to the detriment of long-term investments that have the possibility to support the economy more. "I cannot help but notice that the fiscal vision of the political deciders favored the short-term earnings through the VAT reduction, which will be seen immediately in the pocket of consumers, despite the versions involving the elimination of taxes and duties that hinder the investments. We are noticing that the investments in the national economy, both private and public ones, had a negative dynamic in the last two years. The fiscal policy could have been used to propel them", mentioned Mihaela Mitroi in a point of view issued to ZF. To have a diversified and sustainable economic growth, it would be ideal to stimulate to the same extent both consumption and investments. And for this, a dose of courage and trust in the national economy is necessary, she added.
The networks from food retail had in the first eight months of this year more than 120,000 promotions in the catalogs they publish periodically in Romania, 9,000 more than in the same period from 2014. The number of offers and reductions increased every year as Romanians have become true "hunters" of low prices, and the catalogs of retailers have become "true weapons" in the fight for consumers. "(...) For retailers of consumer goods, catalogs with promotions are still a major channel of communication with the final consumers. According to data from Focus Market Research, over the course of two years, the number of promotions from the catalogs of the main FMCG retailers increased by over 50%", says Pengo Zoltan, the director of the company that only centralizes promotions available in the catalogs of retailers, without going to stores.
Romania has too many banks for the business generated by the economy, companies and natural persons. The National Bank encourages the process of consolidating the local banking system given that there are too many banks for the business generated by the economy, companies and natural persons. Bogdan Olteanu, deputy governor of BNR, says some shareholders are "tired" because the banks they control failed to obtain profit. "In a way, this consolidation process is normal and because the old shareholders are tired by years of not reporting profit. Practically, for these, after 2009, there has not been a lot of good news. If they had invested in energy, they would have done better after the investments in banking. And many of them have institutional obligations as well. The shareholders from the parent-countries have their expectations and can decide anytime to focus on something else other than the banking system." This consolidation means takeovers of banks, mergers, purchases of portfolios of loans and deposits from those who want to leave the market. According to the calculations at the end of this decade, Romania should have 10-15 bigger banks, which do a lot of things, not 40, the current number.
Bogdan Neacsu: We need bankers that interact with the clients. Banks are going through a process of revising the models of offering loans and the technology component as companies and the population have a different level of expectations in terms of the financial services they want to buy and the clients no longer go to the bank alone, as they did in the boom years, they have to be convinced, says Bogdan Neacşu, the deputy general manager of Garanti Bank.
The banks have started to access the databases of the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) to verify the financial situation of the clients (natural persons), a process that started last year for the exclusive verification of the balances of companies that request financing, mentioned Bogdan Neacşu, deputy general manager of Garanti Bank. “It is a project started last year for natural persons in particular (...) We plan to have access to the databases of ANAF to verify, if you want, the financial situations and the sources of income - the way these sources of income or the balances of the clients were declared", stated Bogdan Neacşu at a seminar on economic issues organized by Finmedia. The director of Garanti says this step is necessary because the bank needs to be sure regarding the financial situation of a company, and the source of information has to be trustworthy.
Orbis Hotel Group accelerates the expansion of the network in South-East Europe by opening two new hotels in 2017. We are talking about the second hotel under the brand Mercure from the country, in Braşov, as well as the first ibis Styles hotel, in Arad. "Romania is a very promising market, with an extraordinary potential. If we think about the increasing GDP and the market volume that was improved, Romania is one of the key-markets in the region and an important element in our development strategy. Our objective in Romania is to extend our hotel network and become market leaders in the next years", says Gilles Clavie, president and CEO of Orbis Hotel Grooup. ibis Styles from Arad will be added to the portfolio of Orbis Hotel Group, as of Q2 2017, and will be connected to the global system of sales and distribution of AccorHotels. The new hotel will be the first one operated under this brand in Romania. The ibis Styles Arad hotel will be a new construction, it will be part of the 3-star category and will offer 72 rooms, a restaurant, a bar in the lobby, a meeting room and a multi-functional room for conferences and events. ibis Styles Arad is owned by FAB industry, member of Mr. FAB group. "We chose ibis Styles, a well-known international hotel brand, to benefit from the channels of reservations, sales and marketing, the loyalty programs and all the support offered by AccorHotels and Orbis. We are convinced it will be a valuable collaboration for both sides", stated Flavius Balaj, owner of FAB Industry, company that owns the hotel, part of Mr. FAB group.
Czech developer S Group Holding, which finalized last year the first project from the market in Romania, is considering new investments and aiming for the residential sector with a project of 2,500 - 3,000 houses. The first project of the Czechs from S Group Holding is office building Green Gate from Bucharest, in which EUR 55 million are invested and which reached a level of rental of 80%. Their plans are not stopping here and they are targeting the residential market, a project that will be developed in several stages, given the potential of 2,500 - 3,000 apartments. "We are in the due diligence process for a residential project in the Northern area of the capital. Now, we are collecting the necessary data, but we have not signed anything yet. The project might be made in partnership and we want it to be developed in several stages. We will start with approximately 250-300 apartments", stated Vladimira Novakova, managing director of Green Gate Development. With this new project, the company aims for the youngsters who work in the corporations from the Northern area of the capital and who can afford to pay an installment instead of rent. Although the structure of the costs was not finalized, Navakona says the prices will be EUR 1,000/square meters, or even under this level. The construction works might be started next year. In terms of new investments, S Group Holding is in discussions with a rental potential for a contract involving pre-rental of office spaces from the second building the Czechs want to build in Bucharest, in the Center-West. Although they have not bought the field yet, Navakona says the version of developing the second building in partnership with the owners of the field is being considered, which they did not offer too many details about, other than the fact that it is near a subway station.
Footwear retailer and producer Musette, owned by Bâtlan family, will reach 30 stores on nine markets after the new scheduled openings. "It will be our first store from Sibiu. We hope that by the end of the year, we will finish all the necessary preparations and have a store in Munich as well. In Budapest, we will inaugurate a flagship store on their main shopping street, in a very good position", says Cristina Bâtlan (41 years old), one of the founders and the creative brain of the business. Musette is positioning itself on the premium segment, a pair of shoes exceeding EUR 100.
The interim president of PSD, Liviu Dragnea, mentioned that he met with PM Victor Ponta on Sunday, on his birthday, and they discussed issues regarding the party, Dragnea adding that Ponta wants to remain the head of the Government. "We met today, around noon, on his birthday. I wished him nothing but the best. We discussed the Executive Committee from tomorrow, which he will attend. (...) Victor Ponta, as he announced on the social network, maintains his point of view, he wants to remain the head of the Government and PSD, as I said a few days ago, does not want to leave the Government", stated Liviu Dragnea, after a meeting of the PSD leaders, quoted by Agerpres agency. He reiterated that he still supports Victor Ponta to maintain his position. On Monday, a meeting of the governing coalition on the situation of the PM might take place, added Dragnea, mentioning that he will contact the leaders of the parties from the coalition. On Sunday, at the headquarters of PSD, a meeting took place, which was attended by several leaders of the party, but it was not secret and Victor Ponta was not discussed, added Liviu Dragnea.
More and more Romanians will exit the category "inactive population" in the next four years. The number and the share of the employees will increase in the total of the "active population in the work age", according to the estimations of the National Committee for Forecasting (CNP) and the calculations of ECONOMICA.NET. The structure of the active population able to work will change in the next four years, according to the latest report of the National Committee for Forecasting, from which some good news can be extracted. The number of active Romanians at the working age (15-64, according to statistical standards) will increase by 2.5% in 2019 compared to 2015, and the number of inactive ones will not increase proportionally, on the contrary, it will decrease by over 10%. The number of inactive Romanians will continue to be larger than four million (4.17 million persons, more precisely). The number of unemployed persons will decrease, under the threshold of 600,000, to 597,000, or by 3.7% in 2019 compared to 2015.
The first tents for refugees have been set up in Timis county, Lunga locality, near the border with Serbia, according to Digi24. In Lunga locality, located 60 kilometers from Timisoara, there are approximately 50 army tents, guarded by the gendarmes. The border police and the gendarmes are conducting drills at the border with Serbia, in Timis county. The mobilization aims to test the intervention capacity of the forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs if the refugees that are stuck in Serbia, at the border with Hungary, change their route and try to pass through Romania. The fact that the tents were set up shows that authorities from Romania are preparing for the refugees in the country. The authorities do not want to say how many immigrants are expected to reach Romania and when they might go there. In Beba Veche, a locality located at the border between Serbia and Hungary, intense preparations are made as well. A camp has not been set up here yet, but additional border police forces have been brought. See the full video and article on DIGI24.