Daily Newsletter - 10 April 2019


Macroeconomic News (3)

IMF downgrades Romania's economic growth forecast to 3.1%

The International Monetary Fund has downgraded Romania's economic growth forecast for this year from 3.4% to 3.1%, by far the most pessimistic GDP scenario of all the major international financial institutions. According to IMF estimates, the national economy will see its growth pace fall from 4.1% in 2018, to 3.1% in 2019 and 3% in 2020.


Food industry grew three times slower than retail

The retail turnover increased from RON 147 billion to RON 200 billion, mainly due to the increase in consumption caused by the reduction of VAT, coupled with rising salaries. Unfortunately, the food industry grew by only 13%, over the same period of time, from RON 39 billion to RON 44 billion, while agriculture expanded 14%, from RON 31 billion to RON 36 billion.


Trade deficit up 45%

The trade deficit reached EUR 1.15 billion in February, up 30% from the corresponding month of last year. The figure is a slight improvement from January, but the worrying trend did not abate.


Financial News (4)

BNR worried about exchange rate pressure

The worsening of the current account deficit, coupled with a lower offset from capital entries and the rising pressure on the exchange rate caused by the higher than expected inflation rate are the main concerns of the National Bank of Romania's (BNR) board, according to the transcripts of the latest monetary policy meeting. BNR noted that the inflation rate reached 3.8% in February, up from 3.35% in January and outside the target range.


Competition Council recommends loan refinancing facilitation

Bogdan Chiritoiu, President of the Competition Council, stated in Arad that the institution would reiterate the recommendations made to the Cabinet and Parliament to facilitate the refinancing of loans in order to help debtors take advantage of new and better terms.


BNR view of Decree 114 dim

The discussion held by the National Bank of Romania's (BNR) directors at the April 2 monetary policy meeting showed their concern about rising macroeconomic imbalances, especially as the result of Decree 114, in spite of amendments. The economy will have to cope with fresh pressure from the inflation rate, the trade deficit and the current account deficit.


Minister of Finance says Decree 114 will stimulate economy

The Minister of Finance, Eugen Teodorovici, spoke at the Tax & Law Conference about the latest measures taken by the Cabinet. Adrian Vasilescu, adviser to the BNR governor, was also present to explain how the National Bank is planning to stimulate borrowing.


Investment News (1)

MOL Romania invests EUR 270,000 in hospital

MOL Romania, the local subsidiary of Hungarian oil group MOL, will invest EUR 270,000 in medical equipment for the County Emergency Hospital in Miercurea Ciuc.


Legislative News (2)

Cabinet to issue copayment decree

The Cabinet will approve today a draft decree amending Article 230 of Law 95/2006 regarding the healthcare reform. The decree will introduce the copayment of healthcare services provided by private entities, based on contracts with the health insurance houses.


Additional vacation time for pregnant women

Employers may have to grant additional paid leave to employees undergoing in vitro fertilization procedures, according to a draft decree. The draft stipulates two leave periods, three days long each, to be granted based on letters from doctors.


Politics (2)

Ciolos, after initiative validation: I don't have any illusions, the Parliament headed by a convicted criminal will reject it

Dacian Ciolos, leader of the Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party (PLUS), admitted on Tuesday that he had "no illusions" about the chances of the "No Criminals in Public Jobs" initiative to pass the Parliament. Ciolos accused the PSD-ALDE majority of hiding behind the immunity from prosecution.


Turcan: Romania's independent institutions must not be intimidated by Liviu Dragnea's mobster aggressiveness

Raluca Turcan, First Vice-President of the National Liberal Party (PNL), has called on Romania's independent institutions to not allow themselves to be intimidated by Liviu Dragnea's mobster aggressiveness. She added that, if Dragnea's record was wiped clean, nothing could stop his dictatorship anymore.


Social (1)

Hundreds of employees protest lack of collective bargains

Several hundred workers from the defense, steel and automotive sectors, including employees of Dacia and Ford, protested in front of the government headquarters on Tuesday. The workers are unhappy with the lack of collective bargains. A leader of the Industrial Federations Alliance (AFI) said people are unhappy with the fact that labor unions can no longer represent workers and that salary negotiations have to start from scratch every year.