After two years of negative increase, a real GDP growth of approximately 1,5-2 per cent is expected this year, exceeding the forecast, and a slow growth by 1,75-2,25 per cent is anticipated for 2012, according to an evaluation report by the European Commission (EC) following the periodical review of the EU – IMF joint financial assistance programme for Romania taking place in Bucharest between October 25 and November 7, 2011. At the same time, the current account deficit is expected to remain below 5 per cent of GDP both in 2011 and in 2012. The continuous deterioration of the quality of assets and the increasing of provisions for losses from loans still affect the profitability of the banking sector. In spite of the tension on the world financial market and the degradation of the quality of local assets, the banking system has been resilient in terms of capitalisation still at an adequate level (13.4 per cent). Based on the 2.1 per cent growth estimated for 2012, the objective of the Romanian authorities is a cash deficit of 1.9 per cent of GDP, which would make the accrual deficit target of less than 3 per cent of GDP possible to meet with a comfortable margin. The next programme review mission is scheduled to take place in late January – early February 2012.
The EC also mentions in its report that the authorities have made real progress in the application of policies associated to the programme, despite the difficult external context. In the long run, prudent macroeconomic policies and faster structural reforms will play a crucial part in ensuring remarkable economic results and in boosting confidence on the markets. At the same time, the Romanian authorities are pursuing structural reforms particularly in the energy and transports sectors, as well as in restructuring state-owned companies. In order to enhance the absorption of funds, Romania appointed this autumn a minister entrusted with the management of European funds.