BUSINESS

Trade deficit in decline, exports experience slight boost



In the first eight months, the trade deficit has dropped by over 40 percent to RON 16.48 billion (EUR 3.74 billion) compared to the same period last year, while exports have gone up by 7.9 percent in euros and imports have dropped as well, according to data released yesterday by INS (the National Institute of Statistics). FOB (free on board) exports amounted to RON 141.02 billion (EUR 32.02 billion) and CIF (cost insurance and freight) imports to RON 157.5 billion (EUR 35.76 billion). In comparison with January-August 2012, exports have increased by 7.5 percent in lei (7.9 percent in euros) and imports have decreased by 1.3 percent in lei (0.8 percent in euros). Thus, the FOB-CIF trade deficit was RON 16.48 billion (EUR 3.74 billion), RON 11.81 billion (EUR 2.63 billion) lower than during the first eight months of last year. The output value of intra-community goods exchanges (Intra UE28) was RON 98.77 billion (EUR 22.44 billion) and the input value was RON 119.89 billion (EUR 27.23 billion), making up for 70.1 percent of overall exports and 76.2 percent of imports. The output value of extra-community exchanges (Extra UE28) was EUR 42.24 billion (EUR 9.58 billion) and the input value was RON 37.61 billion (EUR 8.52 billion), making up for 29.9 percent of overall exports and 23.8 percent of overall imports.
“The following categories of products brought significant contributions to the export and import sectors: machines and transport equipment (42.0 percent to exports and 34.6 percent to imports) and other manufactured products (33.3 percent to exports and 30.3 percent to imports),” INS notes in a press release. According to the Institute’s preliminary assessments, in August, FOB exports amounted to RON 16.94 billion (EUR 3.82 billion), while CIF imports amounted to RON 19.79 billion (EUR 4.47 billion). Compared to August 2012, exports have gone up by 6.7 percent in lei (9.3 percent in euros) and imports have dropped by 3.3 percent in lei (1 percent in euros).
According to the same INS data, consumer prices dropped by 0.6 percent in September, as compared to one month before, largely due the fact that the price of bread was lowered by cutting back the VAT; the annual rate is currently at 1.88 percent. Food prices have dropped by 1.8 percent, but non-food product prices are relatively stable, while service fees have increased by 0.4 percent. The price of bread has gone down by 11.5 percent compared to August and “milling and baking product” prices have dropped by 8.8 percent. Eggs are cost 3.3 percent more and vegetables 2 percent more, the INS report shows. The VAT for bread has been cut back from 24 percent to 9 percent on September 1. Authorities have announced that, starting next year, such a measure could be applied to meat and other items of food, information denied yesterday by PM Victor Ponta.
More positive signs in industrial production
Another item of good news is the increase in industrial production in the first eight months, as compared to the same period in 2012, both according to raw data (6.6 percent) and data adjusted by number of workdays and seasonality (6 percent). The processing industry (up by 8.1 percent according to raw data) and the extraction industry (+3.5 percent) contributed to this positive trend. The production and supply of electricity and heat, gas, hot water and air condition has dropped by 5 percent. The long-term use goods industry and the capital goods industry reported increases.

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