The European Statistics Office has made public preliminary economic data for 2018
Romania will conclude the year 2018 with budget
deficit below 3%, the Romanian Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici had said in
January, but many analysts were skeptical about the data presented by the
Government of Romania. Their reluctance was triggered by the upward trend of
that indicator. From a budget deficit of 2.8% of GDP in July-September 2017,
Romania went to 2.3% of the GDP in the next months, to rocket to 3.6% in the
third quarter. In March-April, Eurostat will confirm that Romania's budget
deficit was below 3% of the GDP, Eugen Teodorovici insisted. These days, the
European Statistics Office has released its unaudited estimates, which confirm
that Romania was under the agreed ceiling. According to the rules of the
European Union, member states must keep their budget deficits below 3%, and
this is what Romania did in 2018. Only one member country, Cyprus, had a
governmental deficit last year above 3% of the GDP, more precisely 4.8%,
calculated based on the ESA 2010 methodology. Romania on the other hand was
last year among the EU member states with a low governmental debt to GDP ratio
(35%), with only 6 Community members reporting lower levels.
At the opposite pole, 14 of the member states
had government debt above 60% of GDP in 2018. The highest rates were reported
by Greece, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, Belgium, France and Spain.
Meanwhile, according to Eurostat, in 2018 the
government deficit and debt, both within and outside the Eurozone, dropped as
compared to 2017. In the Eurozone, the government deficit fell from 1% of GDP
in 2017 to 0.5% of GDP in 2018, whereas across the EU it went down from 1% to
0.6%. As for the current year, the Government of Romania remains optimistic.
Although the European Commission's autumn economic forecast says that Romania's
deficit will reach 3.4% of GDP in 2019, the Finance Minister speaks about a
level around 2.5%.