Daily Newsletter - 10 January 2019


Macroeconomic News (4)

Trade deficit worsens

Romania's trade deficit increased by 18.2% in the first 11 months of last year, compared to the corresponding period of 2017, reaching EUR 13.4 billion, according to figures released by the National Statistics Institute (INS) on Wednesday. In the first 11 months of 2017, the trade deficit was EUR 11.35 billion.


Government debt down to 35% of GDP

Government debt declined slightly in the first nine months of last year, reaching 35% of GDP in September, compared to 35.1% of GDP in December, 2017. However, government debt rose in absolute terms to RON 313,42 billion at the end of September, up from RON 301.15 billion at the end of December, 2017, according to data published by the Ministry of Finance.


Foreign trade in bad shape

The trade deficit was EUR 1.567 billion in November 2018, the second worst figure last year. Worryingly, the annualized growth rate of exports fell to only 2.7%, the lowest value in 2018 and well below the 11-month aggregated level of 8.6%. Thus, the growth rate of imports has clearly exceeded that of imports.


PM Dancila says economic growth is high, sustainable

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said at the beginning of Wednesday's Cabinet meeting that Romania had a high and sustainable economic growth in 2018. "Romania has one of the highest growth rates among member states. The economy grew 4.2% in the first nine months of 2018, twice higher compared to EU's 2.1%," said the PM.


Financial News (2)

EIB lends EUR 22.3 million to Garanti Bank Romania

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted Garanti Bank Romania a loan worth EUR 22.3 million to support Romanian companies, with EUR 5 million earmarked for female entrepreneurs, according to a press release. Financial institutions expect that approximately 260 SMEs and medium capitalization businesses will benefit from this loan.


Exchange rate surges

The reference rate announced yesterday by the BNR was 4.677 per EUR, up almost 0.2% compared to the end of 2018 and an all-time high. The euro advanced against the leu comes after the BNR yesterday's monetary policy session, when the National Bank kept the interest at 2.5%. BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu criticized the Government's decision to slap a tax on bank assets.


Investment News (1)

Tender procedure launched for first healthcare PPP

The first public-private partnership project to be carried out by the government in the healthcare field, the construction of "Dr. Calistrat Grozovici" multipurpose clinic, was launched through the initiation of tender procedures. The cost of the project is estimated at over RON 650 million. The contract will have a duration of 17.5 years, of which 30 months actual execution (design and construction). The private partner must provide at least 75% of the total financing.


Legislative News (1)

Government changes GDPR legislation

The Government approved a bill that changes the national legislation implementing the EU personal data protection policy (GDPR), which has been causing headaches to many companies. The law provides for a derogation from the GDPR rules for the statistical processing of personal data, thus allowing the National Statistics Institute (INS) to carry out its activity.


Politics (2)

PM Dancila to unveil priorities of Romanian presidency

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila announced on Wednesday that she would present the priorities of the Romanian Presidency of the European Union Council at next week's plenary meeting of the European Parliament. She pointed out that the Romanian government is technically and politically prepared for the EU presidency.


President Iohannis to meet EC President

President Klaus Iohannis will receive the members of the European Commission (the College of Commissioners) at the Cotroceni Palace in the context of Romania's assumption of the Presidency of the EU Council from 1 January 2019. On this occasion, the head of state will also meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.


Social (2)

Romanian authorities ignored youth unemployment funds

European Commissioner Corina Cretu published on Wednesday a chart of how member states have accessed funds to fight youth unemployment - the final data show that Romania is in last place, with an absorption rate close to 2%.


Unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in November

The average unemployment rate in the eurozone fell to 7.9% in November 2018, the lowest level since October, 2008, according to data released by Eurostat on Wednesday. In Romania, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9% in November, according to the data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS) on Wednesday.