Daily Newsletter - 6 February 2019


Macroeconomic News (5)

Retail turnover growth slowed down in 2018

The turnover reported by the retail sector (excluding trade in motor vehicles and motorcycles) increased by 5.4% in 2018, compared to 2017, down from the previous year, according to data submitted National Statistics Institute (INS) on Tuesday. In 2017, retail turnover increased by 10.7% compared to 2016, a slower pace than last year.


Fiscal Council issues warning

Clinging to the hypothesis of accelerating real economic growth to 5.5% in 2019 (compared to a probable level between 4 and 4.5% in 2018) in the projection version of the macroeconomic framework drafted after the adoption of Decree 114 appears surprising and unjustified, the Fiscal Council notes in its opinion on the draft budget for 2019.


Analysts say draft budget very optimistic

The government will approve today the draft budget for the current year. It was posted on the website of the Ministry of Public Finance on the evening of January 31 and is considered by economic analysts to be very optimistic. The draft budget for 2019 is built on an estimated Gross Domestic Product that for the first time exceeds RON 1,000 billion, an economic growth rate of 5,5%, a gross government debt of 35,3% and an annual inflation rate of 2.8%.


Fitch Ratings warned about asset tax uncertainties

Romania's draft 2019 budget targets a reduction in the budget deficit, but is based on optimistic assumptions and fails to clarify uncertainty over the new bank tax, Fitch Ratings says. According to the firm, the reduction of the ESA budget deficit represents a moderate fiscal tightening and a step towards strengthening the public finances and reducing economic imbalances.


Foreign companies invested more than EUR 450 million in agriculture last year

Foreign shareholders invested over EUR 450 million in their Romanian subsidiaries last year, of which more than half represent a single investment made by US-based Bunge. Another third of the amount came from the dairy industry, which is dominated by French players.


Financial News (3)

BNR slams Valcov

The statement of PM adviser Darius Valcov, according to which the ROBOR index could be eliminated, is confusing and it's not clear in whose name the counselor speaks, given that the National Bank of Romania (NBR) has an institutional dialogue with the Ministry of Finance, said BNR spokesperson Dan Suciu.


State demands EUR-denominated dividends

The Ministry of Energy has asked the Energy Holdings Management Company (SAPE) to calculate more than EUR 51 million worth of additional dividends in euros, using the BNR reference exchange rate.


Consumer loans down RON 400 million in December

Consumer loans and personal needs loans fell in December, 2018, with total financing showing a RON 400 million month-on-month drop to RON 58.3 billion, according to BNR data. Moreover, the December decline came on the heels of a stagnant November.


Investment News (1)

Cabinet boosts Metrorex budget

2019 could be a reference year for the Bucharest subway, if the Government's plans to double the investment budget will be fruitful. According to the budget allocations, the authorities want to complete the Drumul Taberei line this year and also to start working on the Otopeni line. The Ministry of Transport wants to allocate RON 1.44 billion this year for the rehabilitation and modernization program of the Bucharest subway, almost double the amount spent in 2018.


Politics (2)

Dacian Ciolos speaks of constitutional reform

The USR+PLUS alliance wants to not only eliminate the "toxic" changes made by the current ruling coalition, but also to propose a modification of the Constitution to rebalance power within the state.


PSD accuses PNL of acting as advocates for banks

PNL and Ludovic Orban officially became the advocates of the banks who robbed Romanians and shamefully demanded that the European Commission eliminate the greed tax, which would affect many businesses and families in Romania, PSD representatives wrote on Facebook.


Social (1)

Romania ranks first in children healthcare

Romania ranks first in the European Union based on the number of children whose health status is ranked "good or very good", according to a report from the Eurostat, based on data from 2017. Thus, 99.4% of Romanian children under the age of 5 have good or very good health, the highest percentage in the EU, along with Italy and Malta.