Daily Newsletter - 20 March 2019


Macroeconomic News (4)

Romania saw the largest increases in labor costs in the EU in recent years

The hourly cost of labor reported by companies operating in Romania jumped 13.1% in the fourth quarter of 2018, the highest growth rate in the European Union, according to Eurostat. By comparison, the EU average growth rate was 2.8%. However, the national growth rate was smaller compared to the second and third quarters: 15.5% and 13.9%.


Effective absorption rate of EU agriculture funds is 48%

The absorption rate of EU funds thorugh the National Rural Development Program (PNDR) for 2014-2020 increased by 36.2% this year, compared to the corresponding period of 2016. Romania manages for the 2014-2020 programming period an allocation of EUR 8.1 billion from EAFRD, ranking sixth in the European Union after Italy, France, Germany, Poland and Spain. From the point of view of payments made to EAFRD beneficiaries, Romania ranks second in the European Union after France.


Court of Accounts releases report

The Court of Accounts of Romania published yesterday the report on public finances for 2017. The inspections were carried out by the inspectors of the institution during the past year and covered all expenditures made from public money for 2017. Following the inspections, inspectors reported losses amounting to RON 348.31 million (EUR 75.12 million) through 2289 audit reports, 1513 findings reports, 2389 finding notes, 83 contravention reports, 1572 decisions and 112 terminations and 64 letters with recommendations.


Romania's trade performance falls

Data published by Eurostat regarding the international trade of the Eurozone show a major difference from the situation in Romania. The surplus has remained (albeit in decline) across the 19 countries that have already adopted the single currency, while Romania's (chronic) deficit expanded earlier this year, in a worrying continuation of last year's trend. In the first month of the year, the deficit increased strongly (+62%), while the Eurozone's (EA19) positive balance adjusted almost as much in percentage terms, but the surplus remained.


Financial News (3)

Isarescu: Experience has shown that flexible exchange rates are more advantageous than fixed ones

BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu said on Tuesday in Constanta that experience has shown that countries using a flexible exchange policy have advantages over those using fixed rate policies. "We believe that the course policy was an advantage for Romania," Isarescu said. The governor added that, since 2000, Romania has had the best Eurozone accession route of all candidate countries and that the flexible exchange rate policy was an advantage.


Senator Zamfir wants ROBOR-installments link severed

Senator Daniel Zamfir (ALDE), president of the Senate's Economy Commission, stated on Tuesday that he would urge his colleagues to send the Cabinet and the National Bank of Romania (BNR) a proposal severing the link between the ROBOR rate and the installments paid by debtors.


Value of EUR-denominated deposits up

The annual growth rate of retail deposits denominated in euros reached 14.2% in 2018, almost twice higher compared to the 7.6% growth rate for RON-denominated deposits, according to the National Bank of Romania (BNR). Still, new RON-denominated deposits amounted to RON 73.7 billion, while EUR-denominated deposits are worth the equivalent of RON 53 billion.


Investment News (1)

Cabinet approves SUUB investment

The Cabinet approved on Tuesday the allocation of more than RON 71 million to the Bucharest Emergency Teaching Hospital (SUUB). The funds will be used to equip the 11 operating rooms that form the central surgery bloc. The project is expected to take 18 months.


Legislative News (1)

Senate rejects two civil partnership bills

The Senate rejected on Monday two bills regulating civil partnerships, in defiance of Constitutional Court rulings urging the state to offer equal protection to all couples.


Politics (2)

President Iohannis calls PSD "an accident of democracy"

President Iohannis called the Social Democratic Party (PSD) "an accident of democracy" and urged citizens to remedy the situation by voting in the next election.


Iohannis: "I'm almost determined to call a referendum"

President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that he was "almost determined" to call a referendum to be held on the same day as the European Parliament election. However, the president added that a referendum on the judiciary requires careful consideration.


Social (1)

Romania has among lowest social protection expenses in EU

Romania has among lowest social protection expenses in EU, the nation's 13% being far below the EU average of 18.8%, according to Eurostat.