Economic growth in emerging Europe surged in the first quarter as Germany’s dynamism drove manufacturing output and fears of that the Ukraine crisis would exert a damping did not materialise, data announced on Thursday showed.
“In spite of fears of spillovers from the crisis in Ukraine, there are no signs (so far a least) that this has affected the recovery in Central and South Eastern Europe,” said William Jackson, emerging markets economist at Capital Economics in London.
Four out of six emerging European countries to report preliminary GDP growth data showed a significant expansion in the first quarter year-on-year (see chart). Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic posted an acceleration in GDP growth, while Romania and Bulgaria slipped back. Continue reading »
Five per cent GDP growth is these days more associated with the fittest Asian and African emerging economies than the sluggish EU fringe, but Romania has sprung a surprise with its Q4 2013 figures, its best for five years.
A flash estimate from Bucharest’s National Institute of Statistics on February 14 suggests that the economy grew by 5.2 per cent year-on-year in the final quarter of last year. This takes its full-year rate to 3.5 per cent, among the fastest in Europe and appreciably above a recent IMF forecast of 2.8 per cent. Meanwhile inflation, once a serious concern, fell to an all-time low of 1.1 per cent in January. Continue reading »
In recent weeks, much has been made of Romanians’ desire to leave their country and work abroad, partly due to the weakness of Romania’s own economy. On Wednesday, the country’s central bank made an ambitious move that may help that economy, the second poorest in the EU, by cutting rates to a record low and easing reserve requirements. Continue reading »
It was the biggest initial public offering in Romania’s history, and the latest of several big IPOs in eastern Europe. But will Friday’s part-privatisation of natural-gas utility Romgaz reinvigorate Romania’s stalled liberalisation programme? Continue reading »
Romania’s interest rates have hit a record low, but will it be enough to revive its flagging economy?
As central banks in some developed markets seem to be gearing up for tighter monetary policy, Romania’s announced a third consecutive interest rate cut on Monday, citing falling inflation, and with an eye on sluggish growth. Continue reading »
By Lucian Anghel, chairman of the Bucharest Stock Exchange
The Bucharest Stock Exchange, or BVB, has never played a big role in Romania’s economy; nor has it been the focus of much international attention.
But, after a period of turbulence, during which the country has suffered political storms and frenetic general elections, that could all be about to change. Continue reading »
Worried about growth? Get cutting!
That was the message from Romania’s central bank as it surprised analysts and the market by cutting interest rates by 50 basis points to 4.5 per cent on Monday. Continue reading »
By Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Bank International
Positive developments in Romania are turning the country into something of an investor darling.
With economic growth in the first quarter of 2.2 per cent year-on-year, Romania was one of the best performing economies in the EU. Full-year, economic expansion of at least 2 per cent looks perfectly feasible, making Romania a star performer among its regional peers.
What’s behind the good news? Continue reading »
It’s a precautionary arrangement, but could it spell another step towards economic recovery for beleaguered Romania? This week, the International Monetary Fund reached a deal with the Romanian government on a €4bn standby loan, tied to the condition that Bucharest push ahead with planned reforms to the health system, and with its stalled privatisation programme. Continue reading »
Romania’s main interest rate was cut to record low on Monday on the expectation that inflation will slow, in what could be the first of several reductions. The National Bank of Romania (BNR) cut its benchmark rate to 5 per cent, after CPI came in at 5.3 per cent year-on-year in May, the same rate as April. The Bank expects inflation to fall into its target range of 1.5 to 3.5 per cent for the full year. Rates have been kept on hold since March 2012. Continue reading »
By Dan Bucsa of UniCredit
It may have gone unnoticed by many amid the turmoil of the eurozone crisis, but four years after signing its first loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, the World Bank and other international financial institutions, Romania has a much healthier economy. Yet it is still far from a happy ending. Continue reading »
Slowly but surely, Romania is limbering up for its next sell-off of state-owned companies. Under IMF duress, the country may be about to shed some of its weighty burden of strategically important but failing enterprises.
On Friday, Reuters reported that Romania was launching the sale of a majority stake in CFR Marfa, the country’s rail freight operator. The starting price was set at 797.1m leu ($234m). Continue reading »
Romania averted recession in the last quarter of 2012, but can only look forward to a long and slow slog this year as external and internal problems weigh heavy.
GDP crept forwards at a seasonally-adjusted rate of 0.1 per cent from the third quarter, and an unadjusted 0.3 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2011, the National Statistics Institute (INS) announced on Wednesday, giving details of figures published last month. Continue reading »
Romania’s economy may be recovering from a deep crisis, but it is not recovering quickly enough for the country’s main lender, BCR.
Austria’s Erste Group this week announced that it would take a €300m goodwill charge largely due to the problems besetting BCR. So even if the International Monetary Fund is reasonably content with Romania’s economic progress, a key foreign investor is far from happy. Continue reading »
The National Bank of Romania (BNR) kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 5.25 per cent on Monday, as policy makers juggled with the conflicting demands of meeting inflation targets and stimulating a flailing economy.
The Romanian leu strenthened slightly against the euro, to 4.40 lei to the euro after opening at about 4.42. Continue reading »