According to Adrian Vasilescu, adviser to BNR governor, economic activity presented quasi-stagnation last year.
The gross domestic product (GDP) went up by 0.2 per cent in Q4 since Q3 last year, the same modest growth rate being also reported for the whole year, according to National Statistical Institute (INS) estimations presented on Thursday.
‘According to the first estimations available, the GDP in Q 4 2012 was, in real terms, higher by 0.2 per cent compared to Q3 2012 (seasonally adjusted data). On a year-on-year basis, the GDP grew by 0.3 per cent – gross series and by 0.1 per cent – seasonally adjusted,’ an INS release informs. Last year, the economy went up by 0.2 per cent compared to 2011, the poor growth being due to an insufficient agricultural production, decline of investment, low EU fund mobilisation, local political instability and international crisis. The economic growth last year is close to the rate estimated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who anticipated a close to zero growth. The IMF’s 2013 estimation is slightly higher – 1.5 per cent.
The economy avoided slipping into recession as anticipated by some analysts after the decrease reported in Q3. The GDP provisional figures for Q4 and 2012 will be announced by the INS on March 6. For the current year, authorities anticipate a modest growth by approximately 1.5 per cent, a forecast that has been revised downwards several times so far, from an initial 2.5 per cent. As a matter of fact, the authorities’ first estimations for 2012 also counted on a GDP growth by 2.5 per cent, subsequently amended in several steps to 0 – 0.2 per cent. In 2011, the GDP went up by 2.2 per cent, mainly supported by agriculture performance.
The National Bank of Romania (BNR) appreciated activity suffered quasi-stagnation last year, Adrian Vasilescu, adviser to the BNR governor, told Agerpres on Thursday, capital.ro informs. ‘Quasi-stagnation and not stagnation, because there is still something after zero, a comma and a 2. There are two reasons: the drought over the summer that generated a decline of agricultural production, and the recession in the euro zone, an area with which we have important export and import connections, and that led to a decrease of demand for Romanian export. For now, all we’ve got from Statistics is an indication. March 6 is the date when we will have the details and will see exactly what cause that,’ Vasilescu said.
On the other hand, one of the most appreciated economic analysts in Romania, Florin Citu, is distrustful of INS’s estimations regarding the 2012 GDP. ‘This economic growth surprisingly pops up in Q4 2012. I have always had my doubts about INS’s data, but I have never disputed it. This time, however, I cannot take this figure for granted. During the entire 2012, the growth rate of the sector kept going down and was still negative in the last quarter. Much more importantly, this time series was less adjusted than the one for the GDP. In conclusion, before we have the final data for 2012, I say there was recession, Florin Citu stats on his blog.
Euro zone economy falls deeper into recession
The euro zone slipped deeper into recession in the last three months of 2012 after its largest economies, Germany and France, shrank markedly at the end of the year. It marked the currency bloc’s first full year in which no quarter produced growth, extending back to 1995. Economic output in the 17-country region fell by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said on Thursday, following a 0.1 percent drop in output in the third quarter.
For the year as a whole, gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.5 percent. Within the zone, only Estonia and Slovakia grew in the last quarter of the year, although there are no figures available yet for Ireland, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia. The big economies set the tone. Germany contracted by 0.6 percent on the quarter, official data showed, marking its worst performance since the global financial crisis was raging in 2009. France’s 0.3 percent fall was also slightly worse than expectations. The euro hit a session low against the dollar after the weaker than forecast German reading and dropped again after the release of full euro zone figures. Economists say the euro zone may also shrink in the first quarter of 2013 although more resilient Germany is expected to rebound.