Romania’s exports increased by 2.0% y/y to 5,091mn in October, the statistics office INS announced on December 12. The annual growth eased from 6.7% y/y in September and 13.4% y/y in August.
In November, the state forecasting body CNP projected 5.5% y/y growth of exports this year to €57.60bn, but the target seems totally unrealistic, while CNP’s hopes for above 7% y/y growth in the coming years look ambitious as well. The disinflationary environment in the euro area might explain a small part of the downward deviation of exports’ trajectory versus the projections.
Exports in the 12 months ending October increased by 3.8% y/y to €56.46bn. The growth rate, thus calculated to avoid volatility, eased from 4.1% y/y at the end of 2015 and 5.8% y/y in 2014.
On the upside, Romania’s CIF imports have also increased at a slower rate compared to the CNP’s November projections. Thus, in the 12 months ending October, imports were 7.0% up y/y (€66.31bn) compared to the yearend projection of 7.8% y/y. CNP expected the country’s imports to rise by over 6% y/y in the coming years, driven by the robust demand for consumption and investments.
In October alone, imports increased by only 3.3% y/y to €6.06bn. Besides the sluggish rise of exports, this still resulted in 11% y/y widening of the FOB/CIF trade gap at €971mn in the month.
The trade gap in the rolling 12 months expanded by nearly 30% y/y to €9.85bn – compared to €10.25bn projected by CNP for this year. Amid robust domestic demand, the trade gap is envisaged to gradually rise to €15.5bn in 2019.