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Standard & Poor's has downgraded Romania's rating to BB+, with negative outlook

Standard & Poor's has downgraded Romania's rating to BB+, with negative outlook
27.10.2008, 19:34 79


On the other hand, the National Forecasting Commission has revised the estimates concerning 2009 economic growth downwards, from 6.5 percent to 6 percent, and anticipates a slowdown for every sector, given the international turmoil. Up until this autumn, most forecasts made every six months would be revised upwards.

"This is slight revision influenced by the international context and by an increased caution. We used multi-annual averages a lot to eliminate potential sources of imbalance in the supply-demand ratios and the potential inflationary pressures," CNP chairman Ion Ghizdeanu told ZF.
He explained that growth of the economy had multi-annual trends to avoid surprises from forecasts.
The Romanian economy sped up this year, performing in stark contrast with the economies in the euro zone that signalled that they had entered recession a few months ago. The economic growth in the first half stood at 8.8 percent compared with the same time last year; the yearend estimate is equally optimistic, of 9.1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, given that the second half of the year usually has a greater contribution to the GDP formation. The analysts believe that CNP's adjustment of the economic growth is not substantial enough considering the risks related to financing and lending.
"Uncertainty is the word that best describes next year. Deviations can be very high. The main elements with an important impact on the GDP progress are the slowdown of lending and the recession in the euro zone. The growth pace of lending could go down from about 50 percent to 20 percent," says Ionut Dumitru, chief economist of Raiffeisen Bank.
The most important decline estimated for the constructions sector, where the growth pace will halve. As a result, this industry is expected to increase by 12.8 percent compared with 28.8 percent this year. The final version of the autumn forecast indicated a 4.7 percent increase of the industry and a 5.8 increase of services, while agriculture will grow by 3.5 percent, given a very good harvest in 2008.
Compared with the preliminary version of the forecast, published at the end of September, CNP has revised estimates about the industrial sector downward both for 2009 and for 2008, as well.
The industry is expected to grow by 4.8 percent compared with 5.4 percent in the previous forecast.
The impact of international turmoil will also show among consumers, with consumption exuberance to go down, which is not that bad, considering the exaggerated growth of consumption lately. CNP estimates consumption to slow down significantly, from 10 percent increase in 2008 to 7.1 percent in 2009.
This is a substantial revision of the data, compared with the preliminary forecast that indicated an 11 percent increase for this year and of 7.6 percent for next year.
The acceleration of the economic growth was alarming for NBR, given the inflationary pressures it generates.
The final autumn forecast changes the data for this year's inflation upwards from 5.8 percent to 6 percent but maintains next year's estimate at 4.5 percent.


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