Romania: Robust growth 2017-2018

The winter 2017 Economic Forecast published by European Commission argues that the economies of all EU Member States are expected to grow in 2017 and 2018, even if the growth forecasts are surrounded by higher-than-usual uncertainty.

The EC expects euro area GDP growth of 1.6% in 2017 and 1.8% in 2018. GDP growth in the EU as a whole is likely to follow a similar pattern and is forecast at 1.8%.

Romania is characterized by “robust growth sustained by fiscal easing” and, according to this report, real GDP growth is estimated to remain strong, supported by fiscal easing and wage increases. The current-account deficit is forecast to widen to 2.9% of GDP in 2017 and 3.1% of GDP in 2018.

Unemployment decreased significantly in 2016 and is projected to remain stable at low levels.  Annual average inflation is forecast to turn positive in 2017 (1.6%) and increase further to 2.9% in 2018.  The general government deficit is projected to widen due to tax cuts and public spending increases.

Based on data from the IMF projection outlook from October 2016, the yearly GDP per capita PPP (Int. $) is 22,319 for 2016 and ranks Romania on the 61st place worldwide. Estimates for 2020 include annual GDP per capita PPP (Int. $) at levels of 28,100 and a rank 57.

Even the unit labor costs are expected to increase over the forecast horizon due to recent hikes in the minimum wage and public wages adopted in 2017. Compared to EU countries, Romania remains a very attractive and cost effective labor market with a talented and skilled labor force.

With the above in mind, Romania continues to be the hub of business for many industries, providing an array of advantages and market opportunities.