Current account gap narrows 82.1 pct in Q1

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The current account of the balance of payments posted 709 million euros of deficit in the first quarter of 2009 from Q1 of 2008, the National Bank of Romania said on Friday.

The determining influence on the cut in the current account balance had the commercial balance gap that totalled 1.337 billion euros, down by 67.2 from Jan.-March 2008.

The current account gap in Q1 of 2009 was fully financed by the direct investments of Romanian non-residents (up from 42.8 percent in last Q1), that totalled 1.456 billion euros as against 1.691 billion euros in Q1 of 2008.

Of the total 1.456 billion euros, the capital shareholding accounted for 50.8 percent, the inside-group lending 39.9 percent and re-invested profit 9.3 percent.

The Romanian medium- and long-term foreign debt amounted to 51.115 billion euros at the end of this March, accounting for 71.4 percent of the overall foreign debt; it was up 0.6 percent on end-Dec. 2008.

The Romanian short-term foreign debt was 20.517 billion euros at end-March (28.6 percent of the overall foreign debt), being down by 7.6 percent from end-Dec. 2008.

According to the central bank, the public and publicly guaranteed foreign debt posted 10.698 billion euros in balance at the end of this March, accounting for 14.9 percent of the overall foreign debt; it was down 0.2 percent on end-Dec. 2008.

The foreign non-publicly guaranteed debt amounted to 35.213 billion euros at the end of Q1 of 2009 (49.2 percent of the total foreign debt), being 2 percent up on end-Dec.

The service rate of the medium- and long-term foreign debt was 26.6 percent in this Q1, down from 29.3 percent in 2008. The coverage rate was 8.5 months of imports of goods and services on March 31, up from 5.7 months on end-Dec. 2008.

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