Romania’s GDP growth skyrocketing with 5.2 pc

The improvement of the real economy towards the end of the year 2013 came in as a positive surprise. According to Erste Group, in almost all CEE countries covered by the financial institution, GDP growth rates were above expectations. Romania skyrocketed with 5.2 percent (vs. Erste’s 2.6 percent original estimate), Poland and Hungary showed a rate of 2.7 percent, the Czech Republic surprised with 1.3 percent y/y (against the analysts – 0.2 percent initial call) and Slovakia with 1.5 percent also showed higher than forecasted growth. “We expect a reasonable performance of CEE stock markets. The cooling down of the political situation in Ukraine and Turkey is providing a respite that might allow for a liquidity – driven uplift, provided that the shift of flows towards emerging markets proves to last”, says Henning Eßkuchen, Head of CEE Equity Research at Erste Group. Erste analysts expect the economic recovery in CEE to continue in 2014. The best performer should be Poland, with 3.1 percent growth, followed by Romania, with 3 percent. The Romanian economy expanded by 3.5 percent in 2013, mostly due to a bumper harvest output.  “Romania is not as bright a frontier market story as it used to be thus the Erste analysts soften the neutral towards the underweight area. Main reason is that while political noise calmed down a bit further market liberalization – so far a driving theme – has lost some of its steam for now,” according to Erste Group analysts.

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