Coface has maintained Romania’s B rating for risk, set by the financial monitoring firm back in 2010. The best rated country in the region was the Czech Republic, with an A2 rating, while Serbia’s C rating was the worst. Ratings run from A1 – A4, B, C, down to D. Coface forecast 0.9 percent GDP growth in Romania this year; recent predictions have run from 1.2 percent down to just 0.2 growth in 2012.
Forecasts for other regional states run from as high as a 4.5 percent GDP growth prediction for Latvia to as low as 1.6 percent economic contraction for Hungary. Overall in emerging Europe, Coface predicts 1.0 percent economic growth, while for the eurozone a 0.5 contraction is expected. Katarzyna Kompowska, CEO of Coface Central and Eastern Europe, said governments in the region must look to the long term and implement reform programs, not pursue short term gains. “Those who ignore the risks for quick profits will pay dearly in the future,” said Kompowska.
Although rampant sovereign debt is a problem in much of Europe, Romania is relatively unburdened. Greece’s sovereign debt is around 140 percent of GDP and Ireland’s is nearly as high at 116 percent of GDP. Romania on the other had currently has sovereign debt levels of around 35 percent of GDP, this, however, is a big increase on 2008 when it was just 13 percent of GDP.
Liam Lever, email@example.com