Romania/Economy

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Economy - overview: After the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in 1989-91, Romania was left with an obsolete industrial base and a pattern of industrial capacity wholly unsuited to its needs. In February 1997, Romania embarked on a comprehensive macroeconomic stabilization and structural reform program, but reform subsequently has been a frustrating stop-and-go process. Restructuring programs include liquidating large energy-intensive industries and major agricultural and financial sector reforms. In 1999 Romania's economy contracted for a third straight year - by an estimated 4.8%. Romania reached an agreement with the IMF in August for a $547 million loan, but release of the second tranche was postponed in October because of unresolved private sector lending requirements and differences over budgetary spending. Bucharest avoided defaulting on mid-year lump-sum debt payments, but had to significantly draw down reserves to do so; reserves rebounded to an estimated $1.5 billion by yearend 1999. The government's priorities include: obtaining renewed IMF lending, tightening fiscal policy, accelerating privatization, and restructuring unprofitable firms. Romania was invited by the EU in December 1999 to begin accession negotiations.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $87.4 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: -4.8% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,900 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 23%
industry: 51%
services: 26% (1997)

Population below poverty line: 21.5% (1994 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 20.2% (1992)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 44% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 9.6 million (1998 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 36.5%, industry 34.4%, services 29.1% (1994)

Unemployment rate: 11% (1999 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $11.2 billion
expenditures: $12.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)

Industries: mining, timber, construction materials, metallurgy, chemicals, machine building, food processing, petroleum production and refining

Industrial production growth rate: -8.7% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 52.495 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 59%
hydro: 31.67%
nuclear: 9.33%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 49.552 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 537 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 1.269 billion kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, sugar beets, sunflower seed, potatoes, grapes; milk, eggs, beef

Exports: $8.4 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: textiles and footwear 33.4%, metals and metal products 19.1%, machinery and equipment 9.5%, minerals and fuels 6.1% (1998)

Exports - partners: Italy 22%, Germany 19.6%, France 5.9%, US 3.8% (1998)

Imports: $9.6 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment 23%, fuels and minerals 14.2%, chemicals 8.7%, textiles and footwear 17.1% (1998)

Imports - partners: Germany 17.5%, Italy 17.4%, France 6.9%, US 4.2% (1998)

Debt - external: $9 billion (1999 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $510.1 million (1995)

Currency: 1 leu (L) = 100 bani

Exchange rates: lei (L) per US$1 - 17,996.4 (December 1999), 15,332.8 (1999), 8,875.6 (1998), 7,167.9 (1997), 3,084.2 (1996), 2,033.3 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year