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FinMin Citu: I stick to opinion EC's estimate is too pessimistic

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florin citu

The European Commission (EC)'s estimate of Romania's economic decline of 6% in 2020 is too pessimistic if we look at what is happening in Romania today, Minister of Public Finance Florin Citu on Wednesday told a specialized conference, adding that he expects an improvement in the estimate.

"The Commission has kept the same forecast for Romania since spring. Yes, it is -6%, but it is the same figure, it has not worsened it. If we look at what happened in the rest of Europe, we see that in most countries these figures were worsened. And the figures look different from the spring estimate by almost a percentage point or maybe even more. We are already talking about a worsening in almost all of Europe, except for a few countries. At the same time, if I look at our neighbors, Romania has an estimate of -6, but Hungary of -7% and so on. We have to look at this estimate in the context in which we live in the European Union. I stick to the opinion that it is too pessimistic an estimate, if we look at what is happening in Romania today. Yesterday we had, in addition to the confirmation from the National Statistics Institute of the economic growth in the first quarter by 2.7%, we had an upward revision, and this was very important, of the contribution of investments to the economic growth in the first quarter, from 0.9 to 2 percentage points,'' Florin Citu said at the 'We finance restart of the economy' video conference by Profit Financial Forum.

According to him, there is an interesting dynamic, respectively a reduction in stocks, which reveals the fact that the economy did not grow on the basis of stocks, but through investments, and the stocks that were already made were used.

He admitted that the SME Invest program did not start very well and was a huge volume for the financial-banking system all of a sudden, which made it necessary to adjust the systems. Changes have been made in terms of guarantees, and now it has reached 11,000 companies that have taken loans and a volume of financing of 10 billion lei.

The finance minister said that all the measures taken at the level of the ministry he leads for the private sector amounted, until June 30, at 15 billion lei, which remained with the companies.

Romania's economy will register a significant decrease this year, of 6%, according to the economic forecasts from the summer of 2020, published on Tuesday by the European Commission, a level similar to the one forecast in May by the Community Executive.

For 2021, the EC estimates Romania's GDP advance at 4%, compared to a 4.2% increase forecast in May.

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