Romania Country Report - June, 2016

June 29, 2016

The report covers info as of June 28.

Rising private consumption pushed up both the production and the expenditure sides of GDP by 4.3% y/y in Q1, data from the statistics office show.
Retail sales soared by 19% y/y in Q1 in volume, as real wages surged by 15% y/y, the propensity to saving plummeted because of diverse factors including interest rates and consumer confidence. Some of the massive increase in mortgage lending also fuelled consumption, as loans were used to buy existing properties.

Household consumption increased by 9.2% y/y and contributed 6.6pp to the GDP advance, while on the production side, services - most likely wholesale and retail trade - capitalised on the consumption euphoria and captured 13.1% more value added than last year, contributing 2.1pp to the GDP growth.

Key Points
• Romania’s Social Democratic Party dominates local elections
• GDP soars by 4.3% y/y in Q1 on rising consumption; GDP per capita second lowest in EU
• Industrial output accelerates to 3.5% y/y growth in April
• Construction work 12.6% up y/y in April as more civil engineering projects launched
• Retail sales 19.1% up y/y in April
• Headline inflation hits minus 3.5% y/y before expected upward correction in June
• Average net wage growth further accelerates in April; century needed for Romanian labour cost to converge with EU28 average
• Registered unemployment falls 11% y/y in April; employers report strongest hiring plans in eight years
• Budget balance posts 0.1%-of-GDP deficit in Jan-May
• EU funds absorption rate for 2007-2013 budget hits 69.2% one month before deadline
• Public debt rises to 38.3% of GDP at end-April
• NPL ratio down 6.18pp to 13.11% at end-April
• Loan portfolio of banks 2.4% up y/y at end-May on strong mortgage lending
• C/A balance deteriorates to 1.1% deficit of GDP in Jan-Apr
• Export growth accelerates to 6.9% y/y in April, imports 9.8% up y/y

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