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Central bank's Lazea: Risk exists that one of nominal convergence criterion to eurozone go beyond threshold


One of the five criteria of nominal convergence to join the eurozone might be exceeded, the budget deficit respectively, on Tuesday said the National Bank of Romania (BNR)'s Chief Economist Valentin Lazea, at the "EU imminent reform: Romania and the 'tough core'. Adequacy, policies, necessary measures" conference.

"Good news is that Romania meets the criteria starting with 2015, all of the five nominal convergence criteria, namely the Maastricht Criteria, but there is a risk that one of those, the budget deficit respectively, be exceeded. We stand at its limit, rd 3 pct, and anytime an unlooked for event could throw us beyond this limit. Another good news is that the dashboard followed within the European Semestre, Romania was fulfilling starting with 2014, 13 of the 14 criteria regarding the supervision of the macroeconomic imbalances. We admit that last year we lost one of the criteria, namely the housing price index which in our country has grown more than the admissible threshold in the treaty, and that this year we are going to loose another criterion, the nominal unit labour cost, which is risking to go beyond the limit, too," Valentin Lazea asserted.

He added that after certain reforms carried between 2010 and the summer of 2015, Romania has shown that it could fit these criteria. "Bad news is that, if the reform relaxes or the reform's rhythm relaxes, we could loose these criteria exactly the way we won them," Lazea said. As regards the budget deficit, the BNR official said that while the EU countries live a trend of slashing the budget deficit, Romania sees it growing based on an erroneous idea that 3 pct is a target and not a limit related to the worst years, with negative economic growth. In addition, Lazea said that the Gini ratio for Romania reached 29 in 2000, similar with the EU average, while in 2008 it attained 35.9, as compared to a 30.9 EU average.



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