BUCHAREST BLOG: Romania joins the bad boys of Central Europe

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest August 16, 2018

The Romanian government has decided to ride out criticism from Brussels and demonstrations at home as it forges ahead with controversial changes to the justice system.

Romania’s GDP picks up in Q2 after two sluggish quarters but 5.5% growth target now unrealistic

bne IntelliNews August 16, 2018

The annual growth rate strengthened marginally to 4.1% y/y from 4.0% in Q1. The 5.5% y/y target for the overall 2018 growth rate inked by the state forecasting body and used by the government in the first budget revision now seem unrealistic.

CEE boom passes peak

Ben Aris in Berlin August 15, 2018

The boom Central and Eastern Europe has been enjoying for the last four years has reached its peak as countries in the region start to run up against their structural limits.

BUCHAREST BLOG: Once received with flowers, Romanian gendarmerie falls into disgrace after brutal intervention on August 10

Carmen Simion in Bucharest August 15, 2018

As I reporter I have attended many protests in the Romanian capital, but I haven’t witnessed much violence or ever felt threatened in any way. That changed this weekend.

PSD heavyweight asks party leader to resign

Carmen Simion in Bucharest August 14, 2018

Former minister says the ruling PSD has “gone too far” and calls on Liviu Dragnea to resign after avalanche of criticism from the opposition over brutal intervention by riot police at August 10 protest.

Acute labour shortages limit GDP growth in CEE countries

bne IntelliNews August 13, 2018

Colliers International warns of limitations to GDP growth and a threat of recession if the labour force squeeze caused by low unemployment and high emigration continues.

Romanian president and ruling party attack each other over protest violence

Carmen Simion in Bucharest August 13, 2018

President Iohannis accuses government of failing to take responsibility for brutal intervention by riot police at recent protest, while ruling PSD says the president incited “social anarchy”.

Romania’s industrial growth eases to 3.2% y/y in Q2

bne IntelliNews August 13, 2018

Growth has visibly moderated after the robust increase last year, though the volume of new orders reported by companies indicates that the slowdown has probably reached an end.

Romanians back on the streets after Bucharest protest violence

Carmen Simion in Bucharest August 12, 2018

50,000 anti-corruption protesters return to Victory Square to demand the government's registration, unbowed by lavish use of tear gas and clashes with riot police the previous night.

Violence erupts at mass protest staged by Romanian diaspora in Bucharest

Carmen Simion in Bucharest August 11, 2018

Riot police fought back anti-corruption protesters, spraying impressive quantities of tear gas into the crowds and using water cannons to disperse the 100,000 people gathered in Victory Square.

Romania’s central bank revises downward inflation projection

bne IntelliNews August 9, 2018

The revision reflects slower expected core inflation and softer hikes of the administered prices, while the inflationary pressures generated by fuel and tobacco prices are now seen as stronger than previously.

Romania’s record retail sales lose momentum in H1

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest August 6, 2018

Romania’s record retail sales growth has come off the boil. The retail sales index increased by 6.6% y/y in Q2, a marginal improvement from the 6.4% y/y in Q1 yet only half of the record double-digit growth rates posted in the past two quarters.

BUCHAREST BLOG: Diaspora Romanians seek to revive flagging protest movement

Carmen Simion in Bucharest August 3, 2018

Numbers have dwindled at the once massive anti-corruption protests in Bucharest, allowing the government to forge ahead with changes to justice laws and criminal legislation.

BRICKS AND MORTAR: Student accommodation no longer a neglected niche

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest August 1, 2018

As the property boom in Central and Eastern Europe continues, investors are looking for new and lucrative niches to target. Except in Poland, the student accommodation segment has barely been exploited in the region but it has high potential.

Romania’s government squeezes state energy companies to finance rising expenditures

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest July 30, 2018

The government set a 90% dividend payout ratio for companies where it holds significant stakes, but such revenues can hardly fill the widening fiscal gap that more than doubled to RON15bn in H1 as payroll expenses soared.

Hungarian ministers lash out at "uncompetitive" SME sector

bne IntelliNews July 27, 2018

We should not delude ourselves into thinking that Hungarian SMEs will able to compete against large multinationals, warned Finance Minister Mihaily Varga at the Balvanyos Summer University in Baile Tusnad.

Romania's buoyant first-tier cities drive up mortgage lending

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest July 25, 2018

Mortgage lending remains the most dynamic segment of the banking market, but the central bank is increasingly concerned by the sluggish corporate lending.

Romania becomes majority shareholder in Mangalia shipyard

Carmen Simion in Bucharest July 23, 2018

Takeover of stake in Black Sea shipyard for the first time puts the Romanian state back in control of a strategic industrial company that had previously been privatised.