The National Bank of Romania (BNR) has downwardly adjusted its end-2017 inflation projection to 1.6 percent, from a previous 1.7 percent, BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu said Monday.
BNR is expecting inflation to go up to 3.1 percent in late 2018, also down from a previous estimate of 3.4 percent, while Q1 2019 inflation should stand at 3.4 percent.
The bank also says it is expecting consumer price index annual inflation to get within its targeted limits in Q4 2017.
According to BNR, inflation in Romania should Cloe the year at 1.9 percent, when the direct effects of the cuts in the Value-Added Tax (VAT) are excluded, and 2.6 percent when constant taxes are factored in.
Current account deficit hits EUR 690 ml at end-March
The balance of payments’ current account recorded a EUR 690 million in the first quarter of 2017, more than double as compared to the similar period of 2016, when it was EUR 314 million, the National Bank of Romania (BNR) informs on Monday.
According to the central bank’s website, in January – March 2016, the deficit on trade in goods widened by EUR 281 million, the secondary income and services surpluses narrowed by EUR 317 million and EUR 19 million respectively, while the deficit on primary income balance contracted by EUR 241 million.
Non-residents’ direct investment in Romania (estimates) totalled EUR 1,075 million, of which equity (including estimated net reinvestment of earnings) amounted to EUR 1,258 million and intercompany lending recorded a net negative value of EUR 183 million.
Long-term external debt at end-March 2017 stood at EUR 68,968 million (74 percent of total external debt), almost flat from end-2016. Short-term external debt at end-March 2017 topped EUR 24,224 million (26 percent of total external debt), up 3.5 percent against end-2016.
In the above-mentioned period, the total external debt grew by EUR 815 million, on the back of the rise in non-publicly guaranteed debt (by EUR 596 million) and public debt (by EUR 224 million).
Long-term external debt service ratio ran at 16 percent in January – March 2017 against 27.4 percent in 2016. At end-March 2017, goods and services import cover stood at 6 months, as compared with 6.3 months at end-2016. At end-March 2017, the ratio of the National Bank of Romania’s foreign exchange reserves to short-term external debt by remaining maturity came in at 90.3 percent, against 90.1 percent at end-2016.