Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced on Tuesday that budget revenues were RON 1.2 billion higher in August, compared to the corresponding month of 2014. "These are undeniable tax collection facts. [...] Despite the four tax reduction measures, the revenues are up RON 1.2 billion from August, 2014," said the Prime Minister.
The National Bank of Romania seems too involved in political games to pay attention to the biggest threat to macroeconomic stability. Yes, I'm talking about the worrying increase in the value of RON-denominated debt. The annual growth rate is significantly above the economic growth rate and reached 12.7% in July.
The Senate's Budget Commission issued a report unanimously endorsing the Fiscal Code amendments negotiated by the party leaders last week, including the two-stage VAT rate reduction. Viorel Arcas, chairman of the commission, stated that the purpose of these amendments was simply to spread the measures over a longer period of time.
The National Bank of Romania (BNR) announced that the foreign currency reserves stood at EUR 29.4 billion at the end of August, up approximately EUR 200 million from July. The reserves had plunged EUR 1 billion in July because the Ministry of Finance had to redeem an issue of bonds. Compared to August, 2014, the reserves are down some EUR 1.5 billion.
The aggregated value of new financing contracts signed in the first half of this year by the members of ALB amounted to RON 1.2 billion, up 10% year-on-year. Consumer loans accounted for approximately 90% of all contracts, while industrial loans reached only RON 61 million and car loans stood at RON 32 million.
Retail clients took out RON 2.6 billion worth of new loans in July, up RON 800 million on an annual basis, while new corporate borrowing reached RON 1.9 billion, up RON 200 million y-o-y, according to data released by the National Bank of Romania (BNR). This indicates that retail clients responded to the downward trend in interest rates, something that the bankers have been denying. On the other hand, the lower interest rates seem to have made no impression on corporate clients.
The four-star Teleferic Hotel, located in the mountain resort of Poiana Brasov, will open on September 15 after a three-year refurbishing process. The hotel is currently owned by Tint SRL, which bought it from Willbrook Management. The refurbishing process saw the number of rooms reduced and the number of facilities increased.
The special car tax reimbursement ordinance was published in Official Gazette and the government will pay the money over the next five years. Car owners who had paid the special tax no longer need to go to court in order to get their money back.
The National Liberal Party (PNL) has reconsidered its political strategy and pushed back the upcoming motion of censure until November, after the Social Democratic Party's (PSD) congress. "We'll file the motion of censure when the time is right. The shadow ministers will be announced in October and the motion will be filed before the recess," said PNL co-president Vasile Blaga.
The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 6.8% in July, same as in the previous month and in the corresponding month of 2014, according to the National Institute for Statistics (INS). The number of unemployed was estimated at 630,000 individuals.
The total number of unemployed reported by the European Union members passed RON 23 million in July, exceeding Romania's population. The EU unemployment rate fell to 9.5%, from 10.2% in July, 2014. At 6.8%, Romania's unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the EU.
The first group of migrants that Romania had promised to receive at the EU's request will arrive in November, according to Leonard Orban, President Iohannis's European policies adviser. Romania will receive slightly more than 1,700 refugees, who will be housed in the six reception centers available in the country. Those who do not have the right to apply for asylum, will not be allowed to remain in the country.