Romania's Central Bank Governor Mugur Isarescu said that the agreement with the IMF has a moderation note: showing no pessimism, but no optimism either. "My public interventions indicated that the economy has managed well the adjustment that the critical moments on the foreign exchange market and monetary market are behind us". He also referred to the issue of re-launching the economy, but said Romania did not need an economic growth, which could shock essential segments, like the exchange rate.
Statements made today by Mugur Isarescu:
- We specified at BNR even since last autumn that the priority was adjusting the external deficit. We had a very high deficit in 2008: 13%.
- When it was constantly repeated that the external deficit is not sustainable; we meant the value of the figures. Romania, like any emergent country, needs external deficit, but we're talking here about the deficit's value.
- It is one thing to have a 4% deficit, and it is completely another thing to have a 14% deficit and 1% GDP adjustment. It is a lot.
- In our case, if adjustment is prioritised, we have costs at least in three directions:
- - inflation: one accepts depreciation as a correction method, in a certain measure, one includes it in an economic policy capsule. For as long as we accepted depreciation for certain objectives, we accepted inflationist gestures. The increase in prices have been seen particularly by the areas influenced by the exchange rates or areas where increase in prices have been employed.
- -a second major cost: economic growth.
- - huge budget expenses in 2008 in a short period of time. They created that surplus indirectly; everything was invested in imports and external deficit.
- We need to learn once and for all the reason why it is so important for fiscal policies to not be cyclic and why banks follow markets. The fiscal policy need to be anti-cyclic, to keep deposits to interfere when the market's behaviours falls from one extreme to another.
- We probably needed this crisis to get it that policies need to be anti-cyclic, that instead of spending more money when more money comes to the budget, we should be making deposits.
- Our salvation is that BNR has deposits for anti-cyclic use. The dose and timing is what will make the difference between success and failure in Romania's case.
- In January-February, the big crisis addressed ceasing the payments etc; now we were given another definition: we have recession. I ask my colleagues to not use the word ‘crisis' in the context that most suits them, to try and define which crisis we address. A drop in economic growth is entailed in the adjustment.
- You'll see a 6-7% adjustment out of the GDP in the economic decrease in the first trimester.
- We feel now that the most painful part is not an economic growth. The essential issue is how do we approach the re-launch of the economy so that it will not be inflationist, so that we don't play with the interests and confuse the forecast.
- I don't think we even need this economic growth, which can shock other essential areas, like the exchange rate.
- We can hardly manage with the 30%, the amount allocated from the GDP for state incomes. 30% is one of the lowest budget expenses in Europe. And if one wants to make investments as well, to increase social spending, there is at least the need for prioritising.
- Romania is not having difficulties with the IMG agreement, but with structural funds.
- The funds are very large compared with we managed to show so far. The problem is that Romania has to be able to absorb the funds.