Romania’s trade deficit (FOB/CIF) has widened by 21.8% year-on-year in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year, to EUR 7.7 billion. Exports went up by 2.7%, to EUR 34.9 billion, while imports increased by 5.7%, to 42.6 billion, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS) on Friday, August 9.
The exports increased by a rather modest rate of 2.7%, compared to the consensus expectations for 4% real GDP growth this year -- consistent with higher expansion of nominal GDP (Q1 GDP rose by 11% year-on-year in Q1, while the GDP rose by 5%).
The dynamics of exports depend to a large extent on external factors: expectations are rather bearish after the industrial output of Germany (Romania’s main industrial partner) has suffered in June its biggest annual decline in nine years (by 5.2% year-on-year). Separately, Romania’s imports increased at an annual rate that was twice as fast as the exports: 5.7%.
The strong private consumption was driven by the households incomes, as the average net wages increased by 13.6% year-on-year in January-June this year and the employment advanced, although at a smaller rate compared to last year (1%-2% year-on year).