Daily Newsletter - 5 February 2021


Macroeconomic News (3)

Sales up 15% during pandemic

In 2020, 356 new stores opened, 16% more products appeared on the shelves compared to the previous year, the consumer goods market increased by 15%, and prices jumped 6.7%. Despite the pandemic, the reduced traffic in stores, and the shorter working hours, 2020 brought a great effervescence on the retail market and an increase of 15% in the sales of consumer goods compared to the previous year.


Retail turnover up 2.2% in 2020

The turnover of the retail industry (excluding motor vehicles and motorcycles) saw an overall increase of 2.2% in 2020, compared to 2019, due to rising sales of non-food products (+5.6%) and sales of food, beverages and tobacco (+5%). Retail sales of car fuel in specialized stores decreased by 8%, according to INS data.


Number of new foreign capital companies falls to 20-year low

Foreign investors see the Romanian market as less attractive than the other Central and Eastern European countries. Last year, foreign investors created only 4,080 new companies in Romania, down 26% compared to 2019 and the lowest figure in the last two decades, according to data from the Trade Registry.


Financial News (3)

ECB, BNR to extend euro liquidity framework until March, 2022

The European Central Bank (ECB) and the National Bank of Romania (BNR) have agreed to extend the framework arrangement for providing EUR-denominated liquidity, through a repo line, until March, 2022. The arrangement inked last year was designed to prevent the possible emergence of a liquidity shortage in the context of market failures, manifested by the continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Consumer borrowing fell in 2020

Last year was not very good for lending, but neither was it as bad as it seemed after the deep economic contraction caused by the epidemic in the spring. Real estate lending remained high and defied the crisis altogether, while consumption dropped for the first time in four years. Corporate credit has been on the rise and, with the help of state guarantees, has even had a very good year end.


Three out of five Romanians buy a home in no more than three months

Three out of five Romanians say they found their home in no more than three months, the highest number of all the European countries participating in the study. Moreover, over 60.9% of Romanians found their home after viewing no more than five properties, while another 22.8% bought their home after visiting between six and ten properties, according to a press release.


Investment News (2)

"Regina Maria" founder opens medical center

Wargha Enayati, founder of the "Regina Maria" private healthcare chain, will open a private medical center in Bucharest, featuring two private hospitals, 60 doctors' offices, a center for the elderly, as well as a wellness center. The project has cost a total of EUR 60 million so far. The polyclinic is already operational, while the geriatrical hospital will open on February 18.


Final decision on Black Sea gas to be taken next year

The final investment decision to exploit the Neptune Deep perimeter in the Black Sea will be made in the first quarter of 2022, said Johann Pleininger, OMV Group's Upstream Director. Johann Pleininger also estimated that Neptun Deep gas production could start at the end of 2025, an estimate that was also mentioned by the Minister of Energy, Virgil Popescu, last year.


Politics (2)

PM Citu voices support for Ukraine's EU and NATO integration

Prime Minister Florin Citu spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal yesterday. Citu reiterated Romania's support for Ukraine's EU and NATO integration targets.


Violeta Alexandru says PNL, USR-PLUS fighting entrenched PSD interests

Violeta Alexandru said the PNL and USR-PLUS teams operating in Bucharest's districts are struggling to manage a public administration system dominated by entrenched PSD interests. Alexandru, who leads the National Liberal Party's (PNL) Bucharest organization, said the previous administration had not paid any attention to spending efficiency.


Social (2)

Almost 100,000 Romanians applied for jobs in January

Almost 100,000 Romanians looked for jobs on the BestJobs recruitment platform in January, applying to an average of six positions available in the system, according to the recruitment platform's data. Most of the candidates who applied for jobs in January have over 5 years of experience (51%) and are between 25 and 34 years old (34.4%), followed by those aged between 35 and 44 (21.7%).


Schools to reopen next week

Classrooms will be set up in such a way as to assure physical distancing between students, wherever possible, according to the joint order issued by the ministers of Education and Health.