SAR: Romania will get out of crisis in the second half of 2010

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Romania will get out of the ongoing economic crisis in the second half of 2009 and record a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase of 1.2 percent, plus-minus two percentage points, the Romanian Academic Society (SAR) says in a report released on Tuesday in Bucharest.

The same report puts inflation at 4.2 percent, with variations likely to range between 3.2 and 5.2 percent, and the exchange rate of the local currency, the leu (RON) against the single European currency, the euro, at RON 4.1 to the euro, with a minimum of RON 3.9 and a maximum of RON 4.3.
SAR estimates the Government deficit to stand at 6.1 percent in 2010, and unemployment to advance to 8.4 percent, within a 7 to 10.2 percent variation band.
The stock exchange index is projected at 22 percent, and the real estate market is expected to vary between minus 15 and plus 15 percent.

In its White Papers released one week ago, the Association of Romanian Business People (AOAR), says Romania’s Gross Domestic Product will likely increase by 0.5 to 1 percent in 2010 and inflation will vary between 3.5 and 4 percent.
AOAR also expects the Government deficit to vary between 5 and 7 percent of the GDP, while AOAR’s major opinion is that the exchange rate will be RON 4.2 to the euro. Minority opinions put the exchange rate at RON 4.4 to the euro and even RON 4.1.

Unemployment, according to the AOAR’s estimates, should be 7-7.3 percent and the current-account deficit should stand at 6-7 percent in 2010, possibly shooting up to 8 percent.
In the revised version of its autumn projections, Romania’s National Economic Projection Board (CNP) has estimated an economic growth of 0.5 percent.
Prime Minister Emil Boc is expecting Romania’s economy to keep declining in the first two quarters of 2010, bounce back in the last two quarters and close the year in positive territory.

Boc also says that 2010 will be a year of very small economic growth, far from the economic growth of the years before, but the growth will prepare a future economic recovery. Romania’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) senior adviser Mihai Tanasescu is expecting Romania’s economic growth to be between 1.3 and 1.5 percent in 2010, counting on an accelerated path in 2011 and a growth of 5-6 percent in 2012.

The implementation of the 2009 aggregate budget generated an estimated deficit of RON 36.4 billion, or 7.2 percent of the GDP, falling under he RON-36.6-billion target set under a stand-by arrangement with the IMF.

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