Romania’s external debt increased by EUR 397 million to EUR 99.8 billion in the first three months of the year.
Out of the total debt, 67.6% is the long-term debt (EUR 67 billion), which decreased by 0.8% since the end of 2018. The short-term external debt amounted to EUR 32.3 billion (32.4% of total external debt), up 3% since the end of 2018.
The direct public external debt, which includes external loans contracted directly by the Ministry of Finance and the local public administration authorities, including government securities purchased by non-residents, amounts to EUR 34 billion: some 17% of year’s expected GDP, not changed since the end of 2018.
The burden of external debt eased in Q1 compared to last year (as the country’s trade activity grew faster than the accumulation of debt), but the central bank’s international reserves also diminished when expressed in months of imports. The long-term external debt service ratio, calculated as the ratio of long-term foreign debt service to exports of goods and services, ran at 15.6% in January - March 2019 against 21.2% in 2018.
At end-March 2019, goods and services import cover, calculated as the ratio of the international reserves (foreign exchange + gold) at the end of the period to average monthly imports of goods and services, stood at 4.6 months, as compared to 4.9 months at end-2018.
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