Romênia flag Romênia: Contexto político-econômico

Contexto econômico da Romênia

Economic Indicators

Following robust economic growth in 2022 (+4.7%) driven by private consumption and investments, activity is estimated to have decelerated to 1.8% in 2023 as high inflation and sluggish private credit growth constrained domestic demand, while external demand remained weak (EU Commission). Supported by the outlook for stronger private credit growth and ongoing rises in real disposable incomes, real GDP is projected to expand by 2.9% in 2024. Private consumption is anticipated to accelerate, while investment will continue to be the primary driver of GDP growth this year. The relaxation of monetary and financial conditions, coupled with increased external demand, is expected to drive real GDP growth to 3.2% in 2025 (EU Commission).

According to preliminary estimates from the Finance Ministry, the general government budget in Romania amounted to RON 89.94 billion (EUR 18.1 billion, in cash terms), equivalent to 5.68% of GDP in 2023. The country's public deficit rose by 11% year-on-year in nominal terms in 2023. However, due to the slightly faster growth of nominal GDP, there was a marginal improvement in the deficit-to-GDP ratio, which stood at 5.75% in 2022. The target set for 2024 is 4.9% of GDP. However, the promised wage hikes in the public sector, pension increases, and other expected public expenditures in the electoral context pose challenges to achieving this target. Public debt-to-GDP increased to 51% in 2023 from 50.5% one year earlier, and is expected to reach 55.2% by 2025 (IMF). In 2023, overall inflation decreased to 9.7% from 12% in 2022, primarily due to a notable slowdown in private credit growth amidst tight monetary conditions and reduced energy and food prices. However, inflation excluding energy and food saw a smaller decline and remained above headline inflation by the end of 2023, driven by robust price growth in services and non-food items. Average annual HICP inflation is forecasted at 5.8% in 2024 before moderating to 3.6% in 2025 (EU Commission).

An ageing population, the emigration of skilled labor, significant tax evasion, and insufficient health care may compromise Romania’s long-term growth and economic stability and are the economy's top vulnerabilities. Despite a relatively low level of unemployment (at 5.6% in 2023), Romania remains one of the poorest countries in Europe, with 34.4% of the population at risk of poverty or social exclusion (the highest ratio in the EU - data by Eurostat). The World Bank estimated the country’s GDP per capita (PPP) at USD 41,888 in 2022, still 22.7% below the EU average. A resilient labor market, coupled with two increases in minimum wages, helped mitigate the slowdown in real disposable incomes in 2023.

 
Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 301.27350.41382.93408.35436.36
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 4.72.23.83.83.8
GDP per Capita (USD) 15,82118,41320,21421,68423,316
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -5.9-5.9-5.9-5.8-5.6
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 50.551.052.755.257.1
Inflation Rate (%) n/a10.75.83.63.6
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force) 5.65.65.45.35.2
Current Account (billions USD) -28.13-25.55-27.24-28.56-28.77
Current Account (in % of GDP) -9.3-7.3-7.1-7.0-6.6

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, October 2021

Main Sectors of Industry

Romania has a labor force of 8.29 million people out of its 19.1 million population, though this number has been decreasing over the last decade due to the massive migration of Romanian workers to Western European countries. Agriculture represents around 4.5% of Romania's GDP and employs 18% of the country's active population (World Bank, latest data available). The main resources and agricultural production in Romania are cereals, sugar beets, and potatoes. However, production remains very low compared to the country's potential capacity (more than one-third of the land is arable). About 25% of the country is covered by forests (especially around Transylvania), and the logging industry is developing very fast. Romania has limited energy dependence thanks to coal, oil, gas, and uranium reserves. According to data from Eurostat, Romania is the seventh-biggest agricultural producer in the European Union. The turnover of Romanian agricultural companies was estimated close to RON 80 billion in 2023, based on the persistence of inflationary pressures and the estimated increase in annual crop production of 24% (KeysFin).

The industrial sector contributes 28.9% of the country's GDP and employs 33% of the active population. Thanks to inexpensive labor, its industry is diversified and competitive. Historically, manufacturing companies and the industrial sector represent the backbone of Romania's economy. For this reason, foreign direct investors are involved in heavy industry (metallurgy, steel), the manufacturing of vehicle parts, building and construction, petroleum refining, and textiles. According to figures from the World Bank, the manufacturing sector alone contributes 16% of GDP. Data from the national statistical office show that, in 2023, Romania witnessed a year-on-year decline of 4.9% in its unadjusted industrial production. Manufacturing output went down by 4.6%, that of electricity by 9.2%, while the mining sector recorded an increase of 1.9%.

Romania's economy is mainly centered on the services sector, which represents 57.6% of GDP and employs around 49% of the nation's workforce. Tourism, in particular, has been booming in recent years: the number of tourists visiting the country in 2023 rose 10.5% on the year, reaching 13.65 million, a level above those recorded before the pandemic (data INSEE). The technology sector has also seen consistent growth in recent years, due to the emergence of a high-qualified workforce whose cost is lower than the European average. Romania's ITC sector accounts for around 6.2% of GDP (Romanian Software Industry Association). The Romanian banking sector comprises 34 credit institutions: three banks with full or majority Romanian state-owned capital, four credit institutions with majority domestic, private capital, 19 banks with majority foreign capital and eight branches of foreign banks. About 68.2% of the Romanian banking sector’s assets are held by institutions with foreign capital (European Banking Federation). In 2023, Romania experienced a year-on-year increase of 1.9% in its retail sales on a seasonally and working-day unadjusted basis (INSEE).

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 18.6 30.4 51.0
Value Added (in % of GDP) 4.5 28.8 57.5
Value Added (Annual % Change) -11.6 0.5 7.7

Source: World Bank, Latest Available Data. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 

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Indicator of Economic Freedom

Definition:

The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.}}

Score:
69,5/100
World Rank:
43
Regional Rank:
26

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation

 

Business environment ranking

Definition:

The business rankings model measures the quality or attractiveness of the business environment in the 82 countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Forecast reports. It examines ten separate criteria or categories, covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure.

Score:
6.61/10
World Rank:
37/82

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit - Business Environment Rankings 2020-2024

 

Country Risk

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Sources of General Economic Information

Ministries
Romanian Ministry Economy, Trade and Tourism
Statistical Office
National Institute of Romanian Statistics
Central Bank
National Bank of Romania
Stock Exchange
Bucharest Stock Exchange
Economic Portals
Portal Info
 

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