Romania’s trade gap rose by 45 pct in Jan-Feb on weak exports, higher imports

Sorin Melenciuc 09/04/2019 | 10:50

Romania’s trade gap rose by 45 percent year-on-year in the first two months of this year up to EUR 2.41 billion, the highest trade deficit for this period in 11 years, due to weak exports and surging imports, and experts warn that the country’s trade gap risks turning from bad to terrible this year.

In February, Romania’s exports of goods increased by 8 percent year-on-year up to EUR 5.89 billion but were largely outpaced by imports which rose by 11.1 percent to EUR 7.04 billion, government data showed on Tuesday.

Analysts warn that this poor performance could have a severe impact on the economy. This poor performance comes after a fast acceleration of the trade gap during the last couple of years.

Last year, Romania’s exports of goods increased by 8.1 percent to EUR 67.7 billion while imports rose by 9.6 percent to EUR 82.9 billion. The trade gap rose last year by 17 percent up to EUR 15.1 billion, the highest level since 2008.

In 2017, Romania’s trade gap surged 30 percent to EUR 12.96 billion, as the government adopted during the last few years a strategy of wage-led growth, stimulating household consumption and GDP growth rates.

But this model has generated larger fiscal and current account deficits and experts insist Romania should change the economic model in order to obtain real long-term economic and social development.

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