Isarescu, BNR: February’s high industrial orders reflect positive trend for the whole year

Romania’s industrial turnover overall (internal and external market) increased in nominal terms 9 percent from January 2014 and 11.5 percent y-o-y, shows data released on Monday by the National Statistics Institute (INS). In the first two months of 2014 the industrial turnover increased by an equal 11.5 percent in nominal terms from the same period of the year before. The advance of February’s industrial turnover from the month before is the effect of the 9.4 percent growth in the manufacturing industry, while the mining industry declined 1.7 percent.
The strong economic growth in the industrial production of 2013 is too seldom the topic of discussions, considering that the indicators of the first two months show this trend is maintained, Mugur Isarescu, governor of the National Bank of Romania, stated yesterday in his opening speech for the ‘Transformation of the Romanian Economy’ symposium. “The most frequently talked about issue is the de-industrialization of Romania; indeed, looking back to 1990, we see the industry accounted for 40 percent of the GDP. We then reached 25 percent, but now we have made a comeback at 31 percent. I call your attention upon the industry order indicator for February, which points to a 20 percent growth compared with the same month last year, which means we can also expect a steady growth in industrial production this year,” Mugur Isarescu said.
A breakdown by major industrial groups shows an overall upward trend: the intermediate goods industry increased 12.9 percent; the capital goods industry gained 11.9 percent; the durables industry increased 4.7 percent; the energy industry advanced 4.3 percent; the FMGC industry went up 2.2 percent, INS informs. This February’s y-o-y growth is the combined effect of the 12.1 pct growth in the manufacturing industry and of the 4.2 pct decline in the mining industry.
In addition, the governor mentioned the surprising surplus of the current account in January. “I do not think it would be beneficial to maintain this surplus throughout the year because such a sudden shift from drawing in capital to surplus can damage the economy,” Mugur Isarescu said further, pointing out this was the model of the ‘70s and ‘80s. The governor underlined that 2014 is an important year because, where price oscillations are concerned, Romania has joined the European club.  “The performance criterion regarding inflation and the interest rate criterion that are paramount for our accession to the euro will be met with in the summer of 2014. This does not mean we will accede to the Euro Zone, but we will become part of the European club.”
On a change of topic, INS announced yesterday that the nominal average wage was RON 2,247 in February, down by 0.1 percent from January, and the net wage was RON 1,629, up by RON 1. The highest revenues were reported in the tobacco product manufacturing industry, whereas the lowest were reported in the hotel and restaurant business.

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