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Record economic growth in Q3

The third quarter of 2008 could see a record economic growth in Romania, namely 10% or even higher, based on a peak contribution from the agricultural sector, which means GDP growth could come close to 9% by the end of the year.
Romania has never seen such quarterly double-digit economic growth. ING Bank analysts revised their forecast concerning the GDP’s trend for the whole year by 1%, from 7.8 to 8.8%.
“Agriculture is expected to make a significant contribution to the GDP formation in the third quarter, which is usual when the growth peak happens. Considering the volatility of the component, we would like to point out that we cannot rule out GDP growth of over 10% in Q3,” the Ziarul financiar writes on September 10 citing ING Bank Romania senior analyst Nicolae Chidesciuc as saying.
He said the agricultural sector’s contribution took him aback in Q2 and thus ING’s forecast was exceeded by almost 1%. The new annual growth estimates for the agriculture is expected to attain about 15% in the Q3.
In addition, Chidesciuc believes that recent data about solid industrial output and strong retail sales are the first signs confirming the forecast, as well as additional GDP growth expected in in the third quarter.

ING deems that Romania’s Central Bank (BNR) should not be too worried about the speeding up of economic growth, considering it is mainly a case of extra supply.
ABN Amro, in turn, revised its economic growth forecast for 2008 by no less than 0.9, namely from 7.6 to 8.5%, the same daily reads.
“We believe the new figure is quite conservative, as surprises may come up, because it is difficult to estimate agricultural yields,” says ABN Amro Bank Romania senior economist Catalina Constantinescu. Nevertheless, she anticipates a fast slowdown up to 4-4.5% in 2009.
A round 8.5% growth rate is also the forecast by Bancpost research department’s head Dan Bucsa, who told the Ziarul financiar that over 10% growth could happen in the third quarter if the agricultural yield, registered mainly in the GDP in the Q3 and Q4 is very good, and the other economic sectors are not to slow down significantly.
The head of Raiffeisen’ research department Ionut Dumitru, expects an almost 9% economic growth, in 2008.
“If we consider agriculture, third quarter economic growth could be even higher than in the second quarter, somewhere between 9.5-10%, given that agriculture could make the highest contribution to the GDP in the last two quarters of the year.”
On the other hand, the GDP trend without considering agriculture’s contribution, will see a slowdown, Dumitru believes.
 “The economic activity boosted in the second quarter and we expect to see it slow down over the coming quarters, in the wake of a very restrictive monetary policy, of stricter lending conditions (both interest rate increases and more restrictive lending conditions) and of a slowdown or even a recession in the eurozone. Yet, the slowdown will only show in the GDP’s growth without including agriculture,” the Ziarul financiar concluded quoting Dumitru as saying.

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