By Daniel Stroe – Bucharest
Romania had the third largest economic growth among the EU member states in the first trimester of this year compared to the previous three months, according to the latest figures published today by the European Statistics Office (Eurostat).
With an economic growth of 0.7 per cent, Romania comes third in the EU, on the same level with Hungary, and after Lithuania (1.3 per cent) and Latvia (1.2 per cent).
The new figures come as the Euro Zone’s GDP has decreased by 0.2 per cent while the whole EU’s has gone through a 0.1 per cent contraction in the first trimester.
Compared to the first trimester of 2012, Romania’s GDP rose by 2.2 per cent, after Latvia (5.6 per cent) and Lithuania (4.1 per cent). The Euro Zone’s economy has gone through an annual contraction of 1.1 per cent while the whole EU’s economic decline was 0.7 per cent. According to Romania’s National Statsistics Institute, the country’s GDP for the first trimester amounted to 154.887 billion lei (about 35 billion Euros).
Eurostat figures also show a slight increase of 0.1 per cent of the consumption expenses both in the Euro Zone and the EU, after 0.6 per cent and, respectively, 0.3 per cent decreases in the previous trimester.
Despite Romania’s positive numbers, the government’s prognoses and macroeconomic targets have been significantly lowered in the Convergence Program 2013-2016, compared to last year’s edition of the respective document. Thus, the executive has dramatically decreased its economic growth forecast for 2013 from 3.1 per cent to 1.6, for 2014 from 3.6 per cent to 2.5 per cent and for 2015 from 3.9 per cent to 2.8 per cent, according to the Finance Ministry’s website.
The new coalition government in Bucharest, installed in May 2012, has set as one of its priorities the macroeconomic stability for 2012-2013, following last year’s political turbulence which cast a bleak perspective on the Romanian economy. The next three years, namely 2014-2016, will have as a main objective the country’s economic relaunch.