By Daniel Stroe – Bucharest
Romania registered the largest economic growth in the EU in the third quarter of 2013, both compared to the previous three months and the similar period of 2012, according to the latest figures released by Eurostat, EU’s statistics office.
Romania had a 1.6 per cent growth from July to September, the largest in the EU, followed by Latvia (1.2 per cent), Great Britain and Hungary (each 0.8 per cent) and Poland (0.6 per cent). Despite these figures, Eurostat shows the growth of the Euro Zone economy slowed down over the third quarter, reaching a mere 0.1 per cent increase, compared to 0.3 per cent in the previous three months.
The same situation was registered in the overall EU, with the growth going down to 0.2 per cent in July-September from 0.4 per cent in the previous quarter.
Four countries in the EU (Eurostat didn’t present data on Greece) have registered an economic decline – Cyprus (-0.8 per cent), Czech Republic (-0.5 per cent), France and Italy (-0.1 per cent).
According to the state news-wire Agerpres, Romania’s GDP rose by 4.1 per cent over the third quarter compared to the same period last year, the largest increase in both the Euro Zone and the larger EU. The next in line are Latvia (3.9 per cent), Lithuania (2.3 per cent), Poland (1.7 per cent), Hungary (1.6 per cent) and Great Britain (1.5 per cent).
Cyprus and Greece are listed as the countries with the largest GDP decline over the third quarter compared to the same period in 2012 (5.7 per cent and, respectively, 3 per cent)
The Eurostat figures are similar to those announced today by Romania’s National Institute of Statistics (INS) according to which the national economy rose by 1.6 per cent over the third quarter compared to the second quarter and by 4.1 per cent compared to the same quarter last year. As concerns the GDP, it rose by 2.7 per cent over the first nine months of the year, compared to 2012.
Many analysts warn the growth may stall next year when Romania holds both European and presidential elections and politicians may be tempted to resort to populism. A new political crisis, such as the one in 2012 when the Romanian President Traian Basescu was suspended for the second time, could also harm the economic recovery prospects