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BNR Governor Isarescu: Do we want lower interest rates in Romania? We come down with inflation,reduce deficits

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isarescu

Governor of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) Mugur Isarescu said on Tuesday that he is skeptical about finding a solution that could result in lower interest rates within the Joint Committee between the BNR and the Public Finance Ministry (MFP).

"These calculations are made, but based on my instinct, if you allow me, based on this instinct and this experience, I don't think it will get better. You want something else and, therefore, let's say what you want. You want to have lower interest rates in Romania, right? And we want it, too, and for that we have to do three things: to come down with inflation, bring it to level one, yes, but we cannot bring it down by pushing a button, we shall reduce deficits. You can reduce the deficit from 2.5 percent to 1 percent, because you are with the budged ahead, yes? And, we'll reduce the external deficit. Well, this external one, you really cannot do it ... there are exports, imports, there are tens of thousands of economic agents that work. Can we do it? We have a difficult job. I said yesterday. We are economists and we need to say what can and cannot be done. We know that we are sometimes unpleasant. We come with bad news. But, that's that. It is not possible to bring interests and ROBOR down if we do not bring at least these three indicators down," Isarescu told the hearings in the economic and budget-finance committees of the Senate.

In his turn, BNR First Deputy Governor Florin Georgescu mentioned that there are more discussions about the manner in which ROBOR is calculated.

"Currently, the National Macroprudential Stability Committee, where the Government is represented through the MFP, the ASF [the Financial Supervisory Authority] and the BNR with three people each, analyses through technical experts how a ROBOR calculated on a transaction, not quotes basis, would look like and not only corresponding to one day or the other, but for a whole period, let's say three months. It is a variant or one can choose others in relation to the significance of the indicator, not opportunistically, where the indicator is lower, but which reflects more transparently, objectively and more efficiently the situation in the market and which indicator with a certain average, based, I repeat, on actual transactions, should be the basis for calculating individuals' installments for the next period," Florin Georgescu stated.

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