Romania: Economic decline slows in fourth quarter
March 3, 2011
In the fourth quarter, GDP fell 0.6% over the same period last year, according to revised data from 3 March, which also confirmed the flash estimate released on 15 February. The figure represented an improvement compared to the third quarter's 2.2% drop, but marked the eighth consecutive quarter of declining output. In the full year 2010, GDP contracted 1.3% after the 7.1% plunge in 2009. The fourth quarter reading reflected a slight improvement in domestic demand, as gross fixed investment contracted a softer 4.7%, compared to the 15.5% fall in Q3. However, private consumption deteriorated, falling 1.7% over the same period last year (Q3: -1.1% year-on-year). Meanwhile, the contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth remained virtually unchanged at a 0.6 percentage point detraction in Q4 (Q3: -0.7 percentage points), as exports of goods and services expanded 17.1% in the fourth quarter (Q3: +11.3% yoy) while imports rose 12.2% (Q3: +7.8% yoy). A quarter-on-quarter comparison corroborates the slight improvement shown in the annual figures, as GDP expanded 0.1% in seasonally adjusted terms in the fourth quarter, contrasting the 0.7% contraction registered in the third quarter. The government expects the economy to return to positive growth this year, expanding from 1.5% to 2.0% in 2011 before accelerating to 4.5% in 2012.