Click here for the third and last part of our review of the most important economic events in 2016
On September 20, the French Group Faurecia inaugurated a new car-upholstery plant in Ramnicu Valcea, southern Romania. This is the group’s most modern plant and will have a total of 1,300 employees. The clients of the French group are Peugeot, Renault and Volkswagen.
On September 30, the Italian company Pirelli inaugurated in Slatina, southern Romania, a new manufacturing unit. Since 2005, Pirelli has invested in Romania more than 555 million Euro, creating some 2,200 jobs in Slatina. The tyre factory is one of the most modern and benefits from last generation technology.
On October 4, the IMF revised up to 5% the forecasts regarding the development of Romanian economy in 2015, from 4.2% as estimated back in April. The IMF warned that the growth peak recorded in 2016 will be followed by a slowdown, reaching 3.8%, therefore slightly above the 3.6% rate forecast in April. However, even so, in 2017 Romania will register the highest economic growth rate in Europe. For 2018, the IMF estimates that Romanian economy will register a 3.3% growth. One piece of good news is that the unemployment rate will drop according to the IMF, from 6.8% in 2015 to 6.4% in 2016 and 6.2% in 2017.
On October 7, the online retailer Amazon announced it would create 400 new jobs in Romania, with the opening of a new Centre for Development and Technology in Iasi, north-eastern Romania. The 400 jobs will add to the already 600 people Amazon already employs in Romania. With this new hiring campaign, Amazon offers career opportunities to software engineers and developers, researchers, business analysts, trade specialists and managers. Amazon’s Centre for Development and Technology in Iasi spreads over a surface of 13,000 square meters.
On October 8, Standard&Poor’s financial rating agency maintained Romania’s rating at BBB minus with a stable outlook. "Despite the likely widening of Romania's budget and external deficits, we don't expect that government and external debt will rise significantly and think that unpredictability will subside after the elections," S&P said in a statement.
On November 3, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development estimated Romania’s economic growth for 2016 at 4.8%, the highest in Europe. “Economic growth in Romania continued to accelerate driven by domestic demand. The contribution of private consumption to economic growth was larger than expected, also due to a hike in revenues as a result of low inflation, salary increases and fiscal relaxation. Consumption will be further supported by the wage increase in the healthcare sector in August 2016 and lower employee’s social contributions starting next year”, the report of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development also reads.
On November 9, the European Commission revised upwards, by one percentage point, to 5.2%, Romania’s economic growth rate in 2016. According to estimates, the economic growth rate will slow to 3.9 % in 2017 and to 3.6% in 2018. “Real GDP growth is currently among the fastest in the EU and is projected to remain robust over the forecast horizon, supported by fiscal easing and wage increases. Inflation is expected to increase as the output gap closes and the effects of previous tax reductions fade away. The general government deficit is projected to widen considerably due to tax cuts and public wage increases” the European Commission Report reveals.
On November 25, the Allianz Group reached an agreement with E.ON in order to purchase 30% of its subsidiary E.ON Distribution Romania, an electricity and gas distribution network operator in northern Romania, for an undisclosed sum. Following the transaction, E.ON will hold 56.5 % of E.ON Distribution Romania and the Energy Ministry will hold 13.5%
On December 13, the Duster car number 1,000,000 emerged from the Dacia Group Renault car factory in Mioveni, six year after the first such model was launched by the carmaker. Included in the medium-range SUV category, the automobile has been extremely successful among car lovers, mainly due to its low price. Duster is available in Europe as well as across the ocean, since it is also manufactured in two car factories in South America, in Columbia and Brazil.