As many as 46 billion euros, third of GDP, in underground economy

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Romania holds fourth position in the European Union depending on the dimension of the underground economy reported at the gross domestic product (GDP) following the low level of use of electronic payment, reads a survey of the consulting company A.T. Kearney, cited by daily Ziarul Financiar. In 2008, as many as 46 billion euros run in non-taxed economy, which means a third of the GDPO.

Among the least taxed sectors are retail, constructions, agriculture and manufacturing. Between 22% and 42% of the production manufactured in these sectors remains in the underground economy. Under these circumstances, the state budget lost last year some 7 billion euros because of the grey economy, because of non-taxation, say analysts with A.T. Kearney.

The survey points to a tight connection between the size of the underground economy and the number of electronic payment. In a country with low rate of electronic payment the non-taxed economy is on the rise because of the lack of the lever which might control the way in which money run.

‘Three’s a close connection between the rise of electronic payments in a country and the underground economy. Countries with high rate of utilisation of e-payments such as UK or the Netherlands gave low-sized underground economies compared to countries in which the rate of utilisation of electronic payments is at a minimal level such as Bulgaria and Romania,’ A.T. Kearney informs.

In Romania, the value of payments by card is about 10 times lower than the value of withdrawals from ATM. In Q2, payments by card at traders totalled 592 million euros, whereas at ATMs the withdrawals totalled 5.9 billion euros, according to the National Bank of Romania.

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