Daily Newsletter - 13 January 2021


Macroeconomic News (3)

Automotive market contracted 22.6% in 2020

Sales of new cars decreased by 22.6% in 2020, compared to the previous year, according to the registration data published by the Automotive Producers and Importers Association (APIA) on Tuesday. However, car registrations picked up in the last four months of the year, while green car sales surged 103.5%.


National economy down 5% in Q1-Q3, 2020

The Gross Domestic Product decreased 5% in the first nine months of last year, compared to the corresponding period of 2019. The third quarter of 2020 saw the economy contracting 5.7%, year-on-year, according to data published by the National Statistics Institute (INS) on Tuesday.


Cabinet to extend hospitality industry support measures

Raluca Turcan announced that she met on Tuesday with representatives of the Coalition for Romania's Development (CDR) and the hospitality industry and agreed to extend the active support measures implemented last year to help employees and employers. The reduced working time measure will be applied during the entire state of alert, furlough payments will be maintained for the entire duration of the suspended activity period, but no later than June 30, 2021.


Financial News (3)

Saving rate at new high

The saving rate of retail clients increased significantly last year, jumping to an all-time high average of 17% between January and September, 2020, but the situation is bound to change in 2021, when the average will drop to 15%, according to Andrei Radulescu, director of Macroeconomic Analysis at Banca Transilvania.


Eurozone accession calendar postponed (again)

Romania will have to start by restoring its macroeconomic balance, including by combating the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and by implementing the National Recovery and Resilience Plan before coming up with a (new) calendar for joining the Eurozone, according to an official statement from the Ministry of Finance.


MFP drafts loan installment deferral bill

The Ministry of Finance (MFP) has decided that individuals and legal entities that have outstanding loans to cover principal, interest and fee payments can request the suspension of payments on these loans, according to an official statement. This is expected to help debtors who are not in arrears at the time they file suspension requests.


Investment News (1)

CNAIR launches cleanup auction for Section 2B

The National Road Infrastructure Management Company (CNAIR) put up for auction the contract for cleaning up the contaminated area around Section 2B of the Brasov-Cluj-Bors Highway. The contract is worth between RON 143 million and RON 157 million.


Legislative News (2)

PNL says privatization ban must go

The PNL-Citu Cabinet wants to repeal three of the four articles of the bill passed last year by the Social Democrats in order to prevent the privatization of state assets or holdings for two years. The Cabinet says the repeal is necessary to keep some companies or production capacities from going bankrupt.


Vulnerable energy consumer bill to be discussed by Cabinet today

The Minister of Labor, Raluca Turcan, announced that the vulnerable electricity consumer protection bill will be discussed at the Cabinet's Wednesday meeting. Turcan says she would like the Parliament to vote on the bill as soon as possible in order to have it come into force by September 1.


Politics (2)

Dunca (PSD Brasov): We're witnessing the biggest politicization of Romanian education since 1989

Senator Marius Dunca, leader of the PSD's Brasov organization, stated on Tuesday that "we're witnessing the biggest politicization of Romanian education since 1989". "How is it possible that more than 1,000 school principals can be changed overnight by the current government, without any testing, without any professional criteria, just because the politicians from the new coalition feel like it?" asked Dunca.


President: We must restart the economy

President Klaus Iohannis announced on Tuesday, at the first press conference of the year, that 2021 is "an extremely important year for the future development of Romania", when "incompetence and inefficiency can no longer be tolerated" and emphasis must be placed on red tape cutting and digitization.


Social (2)

Cartel ALFA announces series of protests

Cartel ALFA announces that a series of protests will be launched on Thursday against the governing program of the PNL-USR-UDMR coalition, a program that the labor confederation sees as deeply disadvantageous for the poorest categories of the population. In order to be able to comply with the health security measures, the protests will take place in stages in January and February.


Second vaccination campaign to begin

Romanians included in the second stage of the vaccination campaign - people over the age of 65, those with chronic diseases, and employees "who carry out activities in key, essential areas" - will be able to schedule their vaccination beginning with Friday, January 15. Employees can be registered on the vaccination platform by their employers.