The European Commission (EC) revised downward the estimate of Romania’s economic growth in 2017, to 4.3%, according to the spring economic forecast released on Thursday. The winter forecast showed a GDP growth of 4.4%. The growth estimate for 2018 is maintained at 3.7%.
On the other hand, the budget deficit is estimated to reach 3.5% of GDP in 2017, an improved expectation than the February forecast of 3.6%. In 2018, the deficit could rise to 3.8%, a forecast below the previous one, of 3.9% of GDP in 2018.
„Real GDP growth is expected to remain solid, amid the tax easing and wage increases,” while „the budget deficit will continue to grow because of the tax cuts and the increased public spending,” says the report of the European Commission.
The European Commission also warns that the draft law on the unitary pay is a significant risk to the fiscal targets.
„The draft law on the unitary pay poses a significant risk to the tax estimates with a potential impact of up to 2% of GDP on the government balance in 2018,” mentions the report.
The average annual inflation rate is expected to go back to the positive range in 2017 (1.1%) and to keep increasing to 3% in 2018. The EC estimates in February forecasted that the average annual inflation would reach 1.6% in 2017 and 2.9% in 2018.
At the EU level, GDP growth will stand at 1.9% in 2017 and 2018, compared to 1.8%, as estimated in the winter forecast for both years. In the Eurozone, GDP will increase by 1.7% in 2017 and 1.8% in 2018. In the winter forecast, the forecasted GDP growth was 1.6% in 2017 and 1.8% in 2018.
„Europe is starting its fifth consecutive year of growth, supported by accommodative monetary policies, a higher confidence of the business environment and consumers and strengthened international trade. It is also pleasing that the high uncertainty that has characterized the last twelve months could start to decline but within the Eurozone, recovery remains uneven in terms of job creation and investment. Addressing the causes of this divergence is the main challenge that we need to solve in the coming months and years,” said Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs.