Daily Newsletter - 26 February 2019


Macroeconomic News (3)

High inflation rate keeps Romania out of eurozone

Romania reported a 3.32% inflation rate for January, the highest in the European Union, according to an Eurostat report. Meanwhile, some member states have almost 0% inflation, said analyst Aurelian Dochia.


Industrial contraction continues

The "extremely weak [industrial activity] of December extended into the new year", with the new year contraction being marked by the companies' inability to attract orders that would offset the effects of the winter months, according to the SNSPA-IRSOP barometer. The winter contraction is a cyclical phenomenon, as well as a structural weakness of the national industry.


Ministry of Agriculture to allocate EUR 223 million for fishing

The Ministry of Agriculture announced that it would allocate EUR 223.4 million to fishing and maritime affairs projects, through the Fishing and Maritime Affairs Operating Program (POPAM). The financing lines opened on February 20, with 30% of the budget coming from the European Fund for Fishing and Maritime Affairs.


Financial News (2)

Private borrowing up 8.4% in January

Data released by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) showed an 8.4% increase in private borrowing for January, exceeding the 6.6% average growth rate of 2018. The banks have RON 252.2 billion worth of loans on their books. January was the best borrowing month in the past ten years.


Banking system restructuring continued in 2018

The restructuring of the banking system continued in 2018. The total staff of local banks reached 53,737 workers, while the number of branches went down to 4,300. According to data from the National Bank of Romania (BNR), 214 branches and offices were closed and 1,307 employees left the system over the past year.


Investment News (2)

CFR awards contract for line expansion

The National Railroad Company (CFR) has awarded SC Porr Construct SRL the contract for doubling the railroad line running from Mogosoaia to Balotesti. The contract is worth RON 50.49 million.


New pipeline to link Romanian, Serbian systems

Transgaz will build a new pipeline that would interconnect the national transport systems for natural gas of Romania and Serbia, according to the 2018-2027 Development Plan (PDSNTG), according to a draft bill released for public debate by the Ministry of Economy. The pipeline will be built between the towns of Petrovaselo (Serbia) and Comlosu Mare (Romania), spanning 85.56 kilometers.


Legislative News (1)

Magistrates protest, Government digs in heels

The Cabinet will not repeal Decree 7, preferring to work on an amendment that modifies some of the most controversial stipulations. Among them is possibility of appointing as heads of parquets judges who had at some point worked as prosecutors. The Minister of Justice announced on Monday evening that this stipulation would be repealed.


Politics (2)

PM Dancila dismissed president's actions as campaigning

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said President Klaus Iohannis's statements regarding the draft state budget, as well as the latter's decision to challenge the budget before the Constitutional Court are simply designed to win votes in the upcoming election.


Timmermans voices disappointment

Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, sent a letter to Prime Minister Viorica Dancila voicing his disappointment at the PM's failure to discuss the decrees issue during their February 7 meeting.


Social (2)

Unemployment rate down

The national unemployment rate was 3.32% at the end of January, down 1.5 pp from the corresponding month of 2018, according to the National Workforce Employment Agency (ANOFM). The total number of unemployed individuals was 289,582.


Professors to wear protest armbands

The professors who are members of the Spiru Haret Education Unions Federation will wear tricolor armbands on Tuesday, as a way of protesting against the state of the education system. The professors want the government to increase spending per student, boost the numbers of qualified teaching personnel and pay outstanding salaries.