Cresterea prin stimularea consumului: benefica, dar cu riscuri!

Cresterea economica impulsionata prin masuri de stimulare a consumului produce efecte benefice pentru economiile din ECE, dar exista riscul scaparii de sub control a deficitelor de cont curent in unele tari, spun analistii bancii austriece Erste Bank, intr-un raport transmis investitorilor luni.

Romania va avea un deficit de cont curent de 2,2% din PIB anul acesta, dublu fata de cel de anul trecut, iar deficitul bugetar va ajunge la 2,9% din PIB in 2016 si 3,5% in 2017, mai spun acestia.

The recently published GDP data for 2Q showed that growth has become ever-more driven by household consumption. Surging household consumption, with the growth exceeding that of GDP, always opens the question of sustainability or external imbalances emerging. So far, it seems that current accounts will continue to improve in 2016 and half of the CEE countries should end up with an even higher surplus than last year (Vezi cee-insights).

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Only three CEE countries are expected to witness a deterioration of their current accounts. Croatia’s CA will remain in surplus, but the surplus will not be as high as last year, when it was inflated by a one-off effect resulting from FX loan conversion.

In Poland and Romania, two out of three CEE countries that have still been running a small CA deficit, the deficit is to deteriorate by 0.5-1.0% of GDP. It is a no-brainer at the moment, but if the fiscal loosening gets out of control (in Romania, the structural deficit is to widen by 2.5% of GDP this year), the twin deficit might quickly emerge.

Real GDP growth was confirmed at 1.5% q/q (s.a. data) and 6% y/y in 2Q16, the strongest growth rate in y/y terms since 2008. Household consumption delivered significant support and increased by 3.2% q/q (s.a. data). Gross fixed capital formation recovered from a soft patch in early-2016 and went up by 6.5% q/q in 2Q16. Imports were faster than exports, resulting in a negative contribution to real GDP in April-June. We think that economic growth could slow down to 3.4% in 2017 from 4.5% in 2016 due to less traction from fiscal policy and external risks.

The monthly activity indicators released so far for July suggest that economic growth is unlikely to accelerate above 6% y/y in 3Q16. Retail sales were flat on the month in s.a. terms and lost speed to 13.8% in y/y terms. Monthly exports of goods fell by 4.6% y/y, while imports contracted by 4.1% y/y.

The technocrat FinMin reacted to some information presented in the media and said that she was not planning to raise taxes such as social insurance contributions. Possible changes to the Fiscal Code will be made with a view to improving the business environment, she added. We forecast a budget deficit of 2.9% of GDP in 2016 and 3.5% in 2017 and think that the European Commission is likely to urge Romania to consolidate its public finances both in structural and nominal terms.

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