Daily Newsletter - 10 May 2018


Macroeconomic News (3)

Record average salary

The average nominal net salary reached RON 2,704 in March, up 8.7% from the previous month, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS). The average gross salary was RON 4,488, up 8.7% from the previous month. The biggest increases were reported by the education and healthcare sectors.


World Bank report sees GDP growth rate at 5.1% this year

The Romanian economy will continue to grow above potential this year, surging an estimated 5.1%, followed by 4.5% in 2019 and 4.1% in 2020, according to the World Bank's Macro Poverty Outlook for Europe and Central Asia. However, in the absence of corrections, the budget deficit will reach 3.3% of GDP this year, before dropping to 3% in 2019 and 2020.


EBRD: Romanian economy to grow 4.6% this year

Romania's economy is expected to grow 4.6% in 2018 and 4.2% in 2019, according to the latest figures published by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development yesterday. Compared to the November report, the EBRD forecast for this year is up 0.4 percentage points.


Financial News (3)

Bankers feel no pressure to pay more interest on deposits

Bankers do not feel that the three key rate hikes and the upward inflation trend are pressuring them in any way to pay more interest on deposits. Some of the bigger banks, such as UniCredit, BCR, BRD, CEC Bank and Raiffeisen Bank, pay less than 1% interest on 12-month deposits. The ROBOR surge sparked by BNR's key rate hike pushed installments up, but the bankers are in no hurry to pay more for deposits.


Monetary policy versus inflation

Romania's foreign currency regime is similar to the other countries in its region (former colleagues from the Communist Bloc that joined the EU, but not the Eurozone and allowed their national currencies to float against the euro).


Radu Ghetea, President of CEC Bank: "If the ROBOR rate went up, the market liquidity is not that high"

"If the ROBOR rate went up, the market liquidity is not that high," said Radu Ghetea, President of CEC Bank and Honorary President of the Romanian Banking Association (ARB), even as the three-month ROBOR rate climbed to 2.68%.


Investment News (2)

Amazon to hire 650 at its new development and technology center

US retailer Amazon is planning to hire 650 new workers at its new development and technology center in Bucharest. The center's official opening was held yesterday. The company is already employing 1,000 people at its Iasi offices. "The development center will continue to focus on building new and innovative features for Amazon's technology, including the language behind Alexa," read a press release.


B Braun to begin building Timis plant

B Braun, a supplier of medical products, is about to begin the construction work at the intravenous fluid products plant. The plant will be built in the Banat Business Park, located in Sanandrei, Timis, at a cost of EUR 120 million. The investment project includes an R&D center and a new logistics center.


Legislative News (1)

Tariceanu to draft own lobbying bill

ALDE will file in approximately two weeks a new lobbying bill, in order to put an end to the influence peddling accusations made against lobbyists, according to ALDE leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu. "Of course, this doesn't mean that influence peddling should be decriminalized. We want to regulate these activities, provide a legal framework within which they can be undertaken, in order to promote public and private interests in a civilized way, in debates, in discussions, in analyses, without constant suspicion that could even lead to the idea of corruption," said Tariceanu.


Politics (2)

Dragnea's Embassy

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Teodor Melescanu, was questioned on Wednesday by the Chamber's Foreign Affairs Commission over the chaos caused by Liviu Dragnea's decision to relocate the Romanian embassy to Israel. In essence, Melescanu admitted that Dragnea had tried to draw some benefits from an issue that is not within his purview.


Iohannis, Dragnea and Firea begin campaign

The week started with a lot of political noise. President Klaus Iohannis fired repeated broadsides against the Cabinet and urged Prime Minister Dancila to step down again. PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said the President's "lies" could be a threat to national security. Bucharest Mayor Firea also blasted the President, saying the Cabinet is not allowed to do its work in peace.


Social (1)

Biologists and biochemists to picket ministries on Friday

The conflict between medical workers and the authorities seems to have been suspended for a while. After 12 hours of intense debates, the Sanitas and Solidaritatea Sanitara unions decided to call off the general strike.