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EBRD lowers Romania's 2022 economic growth projection to 2.5%

May 22, 2022

In its Regional Economic Prospects report of May 2022 released on Tuesday, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says that after a rebound of 5.9% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2021, the rate of the Romanian economy's growth will slow down significantly in 2022.Romania's economy is projected to grow by 2.5% this year, as against 2.8% forecast in March 2022, and 3% next year, as against an initial forecast of 4.1%.According to the EBRD, the Romanian economy entered 2022 on a weak footing as GDP declined in the last quarter of 2021 by 0.1% quarter-on-quarter due to a fall in investment and slowing inventory build-up."Accelerating inflation from the second half of 2021 has already put pressure on consumers and firms. While real net wages have temporarily recovered in early 2022 and the removal of Covid-19 restrictions has improved confidence, the war on Ukraine has brought an additional layer of inflationary and supply chain difficulties," according to the EBRD report.Consumer prices increased by 10.2 per cent, year-on-year, in March 2022, despite a cap on energy prices, which is set to remain until March 2023. The government has adopted a range of measures to support vulnerable households and firms affected by the war. As such, the fiscal consolidation envisaged for this year could be constrained by these expenses and by weaker economic growth, warns the international financial institution.The National Bank of Romania (BNR) has raised the policy rate to 3% by April 2022 and, facing a tightening of liquidity since the start of the war, has intervened in the secondary market for sovereign debt to calm debt markets.GDP is projected to grow by 2.5% this year, with risks tilted to the downside and contingent on the evolution of the war and other supply pressures. In 2023, lingering inflation pressures, fading pent-up demand and supply chain issues are expected to restrain growth to a forecast 3%, the EBRD report says.  

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