Romania’s economy advanced more than any other European Union country in the past year, acting Premier Florin Citu said Wednesday, citing Eurostat data.
Romania had 8% growth, followed by Hungary on 6.1% growth from a year ago and Lithuania whose economy expanded 6%, Eurostat reported Tuesday.
However, the interim prime minister didn’t mention that growth slowed considerably over the last three months to 0.3%.
The slowdown comes amid pandemic uncertainty with Romania reporting record Covid-19 cases and deaths in recent weeks, and soaring energy prices.
Romania expects economic growth of 7% in 2021, after a contraction of 3.9% in the previous year.
The latest news cast doubts on that forecast as the last quarter could see a potential worsening of the economic situation. Pandemic restrictions have bitten into recovery and have discouraged private consumption which is the motor of GDP growth.
The acting premier, who hopes to be appointed prime minister in a future government, focused on the positive news.
”Congratulations, dear Romanians! (We have) the biggest economic growth in the EU for this third quarter,” he said.
Across the 27-member bloc, Latvia also had 0.3% growth while Lithuania’s economy is stagnating, Eurostat said. Ten countries did not report data.
At the other end, the most robust economies are Austria which grew 3.3%, France, 3% and Portugal 2.9% the last quarter.
The slowdown has taken the market by surprise and economists are likely to revise downwards figures for economic growth, the chairman of the Tax Council, Daniel Daianu told Profit News TV.
The main growth driver that will boost Romania’s GDP in the next few years is the EU Recovery and Resilience Plan. The first payment is expected this year.