Increases in public wages and planned changes to pension benefits should be reassessed for their negative implications for fiscal sustainability and long-term growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a statement at the end of the visit to Bucharest, November 6 – 12, 2018, of an IMF staff team led by mission chief Jaewoo Lee, to discuss recent macroeconomic and policy developments.
“Economic activity in Romania remains strong with unemployment at a record low. Concerns about overheating have lessened with a recent slowdown in activity and inflation pressures for the year appear to have peaked. The National Bank of Romania has tightened monetary policy and liquidity management, helping contain inflation pressures. Going forward, a tightening bias in monetary policy should be maintained to anchor inflation expectations and contain external risks. The financial system’s health has improved, and the cap on debt service to income on household loans should help maintain financial stability,” said Jaewoo Lee, as cited in the release.
“Fiscal consolidation would enhance room for fiscal policy maneuver, thereby reducing the economy’s vulnerability to domestic and external shocks. Despite several years of strong growth, the budget deficit has gone up rather than down, as it should during good times, and the 2018 target remains at risk without further measures,” the release further reads.
“Well-targeted structural reforms and strong governance are needed to raise growth potential,” concludes Jaewoo Lee.