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Daily Newsletter - 21 January 2021

Summary

Macroeconomic News (4)

Agriculture Ministry to launch new support programs

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Adrian Oros, announced on Wednesday that the "Tomato" program, which provides support to farmers who grow vegetables in protected areas, will be expanded this year. A new program will be launched to help farmers growing aromatic plants in an attempt to put an end to "a very large trade deficit".

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Romania had fourth highest growth rate for consumer prices in EU

In December, 2020, Romania had the fourth largest increase in consumer prices in the European Union, according to data from the European Bureau of Statistics, Eurostat. The annual inflation rate in Romania increased from 1.7% in November to 1.8% in December.

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UniCredit Bank expects economy to expand 3.7%

Romania's economy could return to pre-pandemic levels by mid-2022, thanks to a GDP growth rate of approximately 3.7% in 2021 and 5% in 2022, according to UniCredit Bank analysts. This would offset the 2020 contraction of about 5.5%. The recovery process could go much faster, but exports and manufacturing are still depressed, while the borrowing market has a limited contribution to growth.

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Ionut Dumitru: The weight of public debt interest will begin making itself felt

"We all know that we have a very serious budget problem: we have a budget deficit that has increased a lot in recent years. Unfortunately, this budget problem did not start in 2020, it's been around for some years. That is, we cannot blame the crisis for having a budget deficit of almost 10%, and solving the problem depends on structural reforms," says Ionut Dumitru, chief economist of Raiffeisen Bank.

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Financial News (2)

Adrian Vasilescu: BNR signals interest rate cuts

The negative economic growth from the first three quarters of last year - the fourth quarter results have not been released yet - is the effect of three interconditioned crises (public health, economic, and social) which we have been facing for almost 11 months. Since March 2020, time, facts, events have been flowing and reflecting in gray tones the effects of the crisis.

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Interest rates fall, exchange rate up after BNR's rate cut

The National Bank of Romania (BNR) slashed the key rate to 1.25% at the end of last week, and the market's reaction to the decision was prompt. A depreciation of the exchange rate is already visible, and the government can borrow cheaper for certain maturities, at a time when there's an almost desperate need for money.

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Investment News (2)

Sibiu County Council calls for bids on RON 4.1 million project

The Sibiu County Council has called for bids for the Feasibility Study focusing on the South Sibiu Bypass Variant, a project worth over RON 4.1 million. The deadline is 6 months from the day when the start order is issued. The road will be over 20 kilometers long and aims to bypass the localities of Sibiu, Cristian, Poplaca, Rasinari, Cisnadie and Selimbar.

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Real estate investment market withstood pandemic

The Romanian real estate investment market showed resilience in the face of the pandemic, as the volume of transactions reached EUR 914 million, an increase of 28% compared to 2019. The most active sector was the office space sector, which attracted 86% of investments (EUR 784 million), according to the Romania Investment Marketbeat report, released by real estate consulting company Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.

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Politics (2)

Ciolacu: I salute Joe Biden's inauguration

The leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) hailed on Wednesday the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States and voiced his conviction that the US-Romania partnership would be expanded.

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Klaus Iohannis: Congratulations to President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris

President Klaus Iohannis congratulated US President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris and added that he is convinced that Romania and the US will continue to expand and deepen the Strategic Partnership to the benefit of both nations.

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Social (1)

PM: We are prepared to accelerate the third vaccination phase

Prime Minister Florin Citu said on Wednesday that Romania will have a stockpile of 2.4 million doses of vaccine by the end of March, which is enough to vaccinate 1.2 million people. If producers deliver more shots than scheduled and if new vaccines are approved, the number of vaccinated individuals could double. It all depends on how many shots producers can deliver.

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