Daily Newsletter - 29 January 2021


Macroeconomic News (3)

Managers expect moderate increase in manufacturing, construction and retail prices

Managers expect a moderate increase in manufacturing, construction and retail prices until March, as well as relative stability in manufacturing activity, as well as manufacturing and services employment, according to data released on Thursday. National Statistics Institute (INS).


MIPE begins PNRR consultations

The Ministry of European Investments and Projects (MIPE) announced on Thursday that it had launched technical consultations between ministries, at the working group level, to identify the priorities and projects that will be included in the updated version of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). According to the Memorandum adopted by the Government on January 20, the deadline for sending the document to the European Commission is very tight, respectively the end of April.


Romanians spent around EUR 500 million on food, coffee, and cake deliveries

Last year, Romanians spent about EUR 500 million to have delivered at home the food, coffee, and cakes they previously consumed when going out. Moreover, the delivery market will not only not decrease in 2021, but will even expand. The figure does not include the money spent by Romanians in cafes, sweets shops and other concepts used by the hospitality industry. In total, Romanians spent about EUR 2 billion at these businesses in 2020, with the delivery segment accounting for more than 20%.


Financial News (3)

CEC Bank launches 100% online personal needs loan

CEC Bank announced on Thursday the launching of a 100% online personal needs loan, featuring a fixed interest rate, available via the bank's website. Those who are interested can borrrow up to RON 90,000 from their computer, phone or tablet, without having to go to the bank. The loan is granted for a maximum period of 5 years, with a fixed interest rate of 10.40% per year.


ING Bank Romania expands installment deferral program

ING Bank Romania has extended the installment deferral program until March 15, 2021, in compliance with Government Decree no. 227 of December 30, 2020. Retail and business clients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that need support and qualify under the new criteria may now apply for payment deferrals, according to a statement.


Overdue RON-denominated loans down 4.83% in December

The total value of overdue RON-denominated loans, both retail and corporate, amounted to RON 4.42 billion in December 2020, down 4.83% compared to the previous month, while the value of overdue foreign currency loans dropped 3.6%, to RON 1.61 billion (equivalent), according to the National Bank of Romania (BNR).


Investment News (2)

Fashion House Pallady to open on March 25

Fashion House Group, one of the largest outlet developers in Europe, announced on Thursday that Pallady Fashion House Outlet will open on March 25, the culmination of a EUR 25 million investment project. More than 70% of PFHS has already been rented. Among the brands setting up shop in the outlet are Puma, Killtec, Tom Tailor, Lee Cooper, Triumph, Otter, Sizeer, Ecco, Colin's, and US Polo Assn.


Third District Hall to build two underpasses on Mihai Bravu Road

The Third District Hall is planning to build two underpasses on Mihai Bravu Road, in the Dristor and Vitan Road areas. These projects, worth RON 345.51 million, are part of a bigger strategy to address traffic problems on Mihai Bravu Road.


Legislative News (1)

CCR: Bill capping loan interest rates unconstitutional

The Constitutional Court admitted on Thursday, in an unanimous vote, the complaint submitted by the National Liberal Party (PNL) against the bill capping interest rates on loans. The bill, which passed in May, 2020, imposed an effective interest rate of 2 pp above BNR's monetary policy rate (currently 2%) for mortgages and 15 pp above the BNR rate for consumer loans.


Politics (2)

PSD's state budget vision

On Wednesday, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) presented the outlines of a shadow budget. PSD's "budget" for 2021 features a GDP of RON 1,118.5 billion (+4% real growth and 3.6% GDP deflator) built on an exchange rate of RON 4.90 per euro and an inflation rate of 2.9%.


Firea accuses authorities of distorting pandemic figures

PSD Senior Vice President Gabriela Firea accused the authorities of "distorting, mystifying and concealing reality" regarding the situation of the coronavirus spread rate, and of "consciously, deliberately" hiding the truth from the population.


Social (1)

Ministry of Education to look into device situation

Approximately 510,000 students reported problems attending online courses due to the lack of access to technology or the Internet, announced the Minister of Education, Sorin Cîmpeanu, on Thursday. The situation will be looked into because the authorities suspect some foul play after 250,000 tablets were purchased and delivered to families.