RBL entrepreneurs and executives – very cautious optimism over Romania’s macroeconomic future

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  • 98 pc of respondents say inflation will continue to rise
  • 60 pc of respondents see an exchange rate higher than RON 4.7/EUR in next 12 months

 

With a total turnover of EUR 3.5 billion and over 30,000 employees, the members of Romanian Business Leaders (RBL) show very cautious optimism in what concerns the next 12 months, according to the Macroeconomic Confidence Index report that RBL published in December 2017. The Macroeconomic Confidence Index presents the perceptions on the overall business conditions, on how it is like to be an employee in Romania and on how personal incomes and wealth will evolve in the next 12 months.

Confidence in Romanian macroeconomic conditions, as shown by RBL entrepreneurs and executives that took part in the survey, stood at 52.3 points (with 0 points representing complete lack of confidence, 50 points representing neutrality and 100 points representing complete confidence). Respondents are slightly more confident when it comes to the current business conditions (54.8 pts) than they are when it comes to the business conditions over the next 12 months (51.1 pts).

“Confidence in macroeconomic conditions is like confidence in a group of friends. If you trust them, then you will have the courage to extend loans, to invest in common needs and objectives, to build together in the long term. And you can rely on this relationship. The Romanian businessmen’s confidence in the country’s macroeconomic conditions is or isn’t passed on to the relationship with the state, perceived to be a major influencer of these conditions. Currently, we can rather talk about lack of confidence,” Dragos Neacsu, Erste Asset Management Romania CEO and member of the RBL Board, said.

According to the results, 98 percent of respondents expect the inflation rate to continue growing in the next 12 months, over 60 percent foresee it will remain above 3 percent, and almost a third say that the inflation rate will surpass 3.5 percent. For the same 12-month interval, eight out of ten respondents state the RON will continue to depreciate against the EUR, and 60.7 percent of respondents expect the exchange rate to surpass the RON 4.7/EUR threshold.

RBL respondents are more optimistic (52.3 pts) than the investment professionals (41 pts) of CFA Society Romania, an organisation that launched the Macroeconomic Confidence Index in Romania in May 2011 (CFA Romania Macroeconomic Confidence Index). According to the results of the survey conducted in December 2017, the investment professionals’ confidence in current conditions (59 pts) slightly surpasses the confidence of entrepreneurs (55 pts). On the other hand, the difference in perception is considerably higher in what concerns the next 12 months – RBL members show very reserved optimism (51 pts), in contrast to the members of CFA Society Romania, who are pessimistic (32 pts).

The Macroeconomic Confidence Index uses a scale that ranges from 0 points (lack of confidence) to 100 points (complete confidence in the economy) and is calculated based on the answers to 6 questions regarding: current conditions (concerning the business sector and the labour market) and outlook (for a time horizon of 12 months, in what concerns: the business sector, the labour market, the evolution of personal income and personal wealth). Apart from the questions needed to calculate the macroeconomic confidence indicator, the poll also evaluates the 12-month outlook on the inflation rate, interest rates, EUR/RON exchange rate, BET stock exchange index, global macroeconomic conditions, price of oil.

Romanian Business Leaders (RBL) is an apolitical, non-governmental and non-profit organisation that offers a platform for action and social involvement to entrepreneurs and executives from the private business sector. RBL’s mission is for Romania to become a better country for responsible businesses and, this way, a better country for Romanians.

The entrepreneurs and executives who are members of RBL start and develop, on voluntary basis, projects financed exclusively with private funds, including:

  • Educates and mentors start-up and scale-up entrepreneurs (Entrepreneurship Workshops Programme and Mentoria mentorship platform);
  • Inspires young people to think entrepreneurially (‘I Want to be an Entrepreneur’ Conferences);
  • Repatriates the diaspora via entrepreneurship (RePatriot);
  • Revitalises Romanian villages via entrepreneurship (Entrepreneurville – Adopt a Village!);
  • Supports and recognises professors with entrepreneurial vocation and thinking (MERITO Project);

 

The results of CFA Society Romania’s December 2017 survey

 

In December 2017, CFA Society Romania’s macroeconomic confidence index dropped to 41 points, the lowest value since April 2013 and 3.1 percentage points lower than the value registered by the previous survey. This development was mainly due to the index’s outlook component, which dropped by 4.2 percentage points to 32 points (the lowest value since October 2012).

The evolution of the outlook index is due, to a great extent, to the answers to questions regarding the outlook on the evolution of personal income (41 percent of the respondents expecting a drop in personal income at the level of the economy, compared to 20 percent in the previous survey).

CFA Society Romania is the association of investment professionals in Romania, holders of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certificates administered by the CFA Institute (U.S.). The members of CFA Society Romania work for regulatory institutions, supranational institutions, banking institutions, insurance companies, stockbroker companies, asset management companies, pension funds, consultancy companies, public sector, education institutions and companies active in various economic sectors.