Romania boasts the lowest debts level/capita in the region, but it also has the poorest citizens, according to the "Financial behaviour of the population and the credit evolution in New Europe" study released on Tuesday by UniCredit Romania.

However, the Unicredit analysts consider that Romanians’ wealth will increase 17 percent every year until 2008, based on an interest growth of mutual funds and insurance markets, but debts will also grow on average with 22 percent per year.

The survey took into consideration the states from the New Europe (NE) - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey and Hungary - and the evolution trends for the next two years.

By the end of last year, the Romanians’ wealth accounted for 19 percent of the GDP, compared to the average 53 percent recorded in NE area, to Estonia’s 29 percent of GDP, and Bulgaria’s 41 percent of GDP. The highest values were registered in Croatia- 67 percent GDP and Czech Republic 64 percent of GDP.

The average wealth of Romanians last year was of 682 euros while Unicredit analysts forecast 1170 euros in 2008.

In Bulgaria, the wealth level/capita was of 1151 euro, and a possible forecast estimated 1904 euros in 2008.

The debt level/capita accounted for 277 euros, eight percent of the GDP compared to the average 14 percent in the NE zone, while in 2008 it might be of 546 euros in Romania.

Compared to the Euro zone where the mortgage and real estate loans represented 70 percent of the citizens’ debts in 2005, in NE zone the consume loan stood for 80 percent in 2000, and 64 percent in 2005. The trend reflects the evolution of the real estate loans that recorded a 118 percent growth in the last five years.

In 2005, the real estate loans represented 25 percent of the Romanians’ debts volume.