Economy of Romania

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Economy of Romania
City Gate Towers.jpg
CurrencyLeu (Leu or RON)
Calendar year
Trade organisations
European Union, WTO, BSEC
GDPIncrease $239.851 billion (nominal, 2018)[1]
Increase $516.336 billion (PPP, 2018)[1]
GDP rank48th (nominal, 2018)
40th (PPP, 2018)
GDP growth
4.8% (2016) 7.0% (2017)
4.1% (2018e) 3.6% (2019f)[2]
GDP per capita
Increase $12,285 (nominal, 2018)[1]
Increase $26,446 (PPP, 2018)[1]
GDP per capita rank
57th (nominal, 2018)
54th (PPP, 2018)
GDP by sector
agriculture: 4.2%
industry: 33.2%
services: 62.6% (2017 est.)[3]
3.275% (2019f est.)[1]
4.631% (2018)[1]
1.344% (2017)[1]
Population below poverty line
Positive decrease 23.6% in poverty (2016)[4]
Positive decrease 32.5% at risk of poverty or social exclusion (2018)[5]
Negative increase 35.1 medium (2018, Eurostat)[6]
Increase 0.811 very high (2017) (52nd)
Labour force
8.951 million (2017 est.)[7]
Employment: Increase 69.9% (2018)[8]
Labour force by occupation
agriculture: 22.91%
industry: 29.13%
services: 47.96% (2017)[9]
UnemploymentPositive decrease 4.2% (2018, Eurostat)[10]
Average gross salary
RON 5,105 / €1,081 / $1212 monthly (April, 2019)
RON 3,115 / €659 / $738 monthly (April, 2019)
Main industries
electric machinery and equipment, textiles and footwear, light machinery and auto assembly, mining, timber, construction materials, metallurgy, chemicals, food processing, petroleum refining
Decrease 52nd (2019)[11]
ExportsIncrease $84.92 billion (2018 est.)[12]
Export goods
machinery and equipment, metals and metal products, textiles and footwear, chemicals, agricultural products, minerals and fuels
Main export partners
 Germany 21.4%
 Italy 11.6%
 France 7.2%
 Hungary 5.2%
 United Kingdom 4.3% (2016 est.)[13]
ImportsNegative increase $88.12 billion (2018 est.)[12]
Import goods
machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels and minerals, textile and products, agricultural products
Main import partners
 Germany 20.5%
 Italy 10.3%
 Hungary 7.5%
 France 5.6%
 Poland 5.1%
 China 5.1%
 Netherlands 4.1% (2016 est.)[14]
FDI stock
Increase $94 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[3]
Increase Abroad: $6.822 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[3]
Decrease −$7.114 billion (2017 est.)[3]
Negative increase $95.97 billion (36.8% of GDP) (31 December 2017 est.)[1][3]
Public finances
Positive decrease 36.8% of GDP (2017 est.)[3]
−2.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)[3]
Revenues62.14 billion (2017 est.)[3]
Expenses68.13 billion (2017 est.)[3]
Economic aid$100 billion EU structural funds (2007–13)
$100 billion EU structural funds (2014–20)
Foreign reserves
Increase $44.43 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[3]
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

Romania is a fast developing, high income mixed economy with a very high Human Development Index and a skilled labour force, ranked 15th in the European Union by total nominal GDP and 10th largest when adjusted by purchasing power parity[19].

The Romanian economy ranks 40th in the world, with a $516.5 billion annual output (PPP). In recent years, Romania enjoyed some of the highest growth rates in the EU: 6% in 2016, 7% in 2017, and 4,1% in 2018. Growth is expected to slow down to +3.8% in 2019[20], although data for spring 2019 are surprisingly resilient[21]. Extrapolating current trends, the country's GDP is projected to surpass $1,000 billion (PPP) before 2035.

Romania is one of the leading destinations in Central and Eastern Europe for foreign direct investment: the cumulative inward FDI in the country since 1989 totals more than $170 billion.[22] Romania is the largest electronics producer in Central and Eastern Europe. In the past 20 years Romania has also grown into a major center for mobile technology, information security, and related hardware research Dacia automobiles. Up until the late 2000s financial crisis, the Romanian economy had been referred to as a "Tiger" due to its high growth rates and rapid development;[23][24][25][26] until 2009, Romanian economic growth was among the fastest in Europe (officially 8.4% in 2008 and more than three times the EU average).[27][28] Romania is rich in iron ore, oil, salt, uranium, nickel, copper and natural gas; the country is a regional leader in multiple fields, such as IT and motor vehicle production.[29][30][31] Bucharest, the capital city, is one of the leading financial and industrial centres in Eastern Europe.

Bucharest is the financial and business capital of Romania. Since the capital is the significant economic hub of Romania, classified as an Alpha- world city in the study by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network and it is the second fastest-developing urban economy in Europe: the per capita GDP in the city increased by 5% and employment by 4% compared to the previous year, 2017.

The top 10 exports of Romania are vehicles, machinery, chemical goods, electronic products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, transport equipment, basic metals, food products, and rubber and plastics. Imports of goods and services increased 9.3%, while exports grew 7.6% in 2016, as compared to 2015.[32] Exports of goods and services are expected to grow by 5.6% in 2017, while imports are seen increasing by 8.5%, according to the latest CNP (National Prognosis Commission) projections .[33]

According to the Financial Times, Romania — one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies, has became a popular tech destination. Quartz adds that it could very well be EU’s next tech-startup hub while TechCrunch called it the Silicon Valley of Transylvania.[34]

Industry in Romania generated 33.6% of the local gross domestic product (GDP) in the first half of 2018.[35]


Before World War II[edit]

After World War I, the application of radical agricultural reforms and the passing of a new constitution created a democratic framework and allowed for quick economic growth (industrial production doubled between 1923–1938, despite the effects of the Great Depression). With oil production of 7.2 million tons in 1937, Romania ranked second in Europe and seventh in the world.[36] The oil extracted from Romania was essential for the German war campaigns.[37]

Before World War II, Romania was Europe's second-largest food producer.[38]

After World War II[edit]

After the Second World War, Romania became a member of the Eastern Bloc, and switched to a Soviet-style command economy. During this period the country experienced rapid industrialization in an attempt to create a "multilaterally developed socialist society". Economic growth was further fueled by foreign credits in the 1970s, but this eventually led to a growing foreign debt, which peaked at $11–12 billion.[39]

Romania's debt was largely paid off during the 1980s by implementing severe austerity measures which deprived Romanians of basic consumer goods. In 1989, before the Romanian Revolution, Romania had a GDP of about 800 billion lei, or $53.6 billion.[40] Around 58% of the country's gross national income came from industry, and another 15% came from agriculture;[40] the minimum wage was 2,000 lei, or $135.[40]

Free market transition[edit]

Privatization of industry started with the 1992 transfer of 30% of the shares of some 6,000 state-owned enterprises to five private ownership funds, in which each adult citizen received certificates of ownership; the remaining 70% ownership of the enterprises was transferred to a state ownership fund, with a mandate to sell off its shares at the rate of at least 10% per year. The privatization law also called for direct sale of some 30 specially selected enterprises and the sale of "assets" (i.e., commercially viable component units) of larger enterprises.

As of 2008, inflation stood at 7.8%, up from 4.8% in 2007[7] estimated by the BNR at coming within 6% for the year 2006 (the year-on-year CPI, published in March 2007, is 3.66%). Also, since 2001, the economy has grown steadily at around 6–8%. Therefore, the PPP per capita GDP of Romania in 2008 was estimated to be between $12,200[41] and $14,064.[42]

Financial and technical assistance continued to flow in from the U.S., European Union, other industrial nations, and international financial institutions facilitating Romania's reintegration into the world economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (IBRD), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) all had programs and resident representatives in Romania. Romania also attracted foreign direct investment, which in 2008 rose to $72 billion.[7]

Romania was the largest U.S. trading partner in Central-Eastern Europe until Ceauşescu's 1988 renunciation of Most Favored Nation (non-discriminatory) trading status, the latter of which resulted in high U.S. tariffs on Romanian products. Congress approved restoration of the MFN status effective 8 November 1993, as part of a new bilateral trade agreement. Tariffs on most Romanian products dropped to zero in February 1994 with the inclusion of Romania in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Major Romanian exports to the U.S. include shoes and clothing, steel, and chemicals.

Romania signed an Association Agreement with the EU in 1992 and a free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in 1993, codifying Romania's access to European markets and creating the basic framework for further economic integration. At the Helsinki Summit in December 1999, the European Union invited Romania to formally begin accession negotiations. In 2002, the target date of 2007 was set for Romania, along with Bulgaria, for its accession efforts; this was confirmed in 2003 at the Thessaloniki Summit and then in early 2005 Romania and Bulgaria signed the adherence treaty to EU. They formally joined the EU on 1 January 2007.

During the latter part of the Ceauşescu period, Romania earned significant credits from several Arab countries, notably Iraq, for work related to the oil industry. In August 2005, Romania agreed to forgive 43% of the US$1.7 billion debt owed by an Iraq still largely occupied by the military forces of the U.S.-led "Coalition of the Willing", making Romania the first country outside of the Paris Club of wealthy creditor nations to forgive Iraqi debts.[43]

Growth in 2000–07 was supported by exports to the EU, primarily to Italy and Germany, and a strong recovery of foreign and domestic investment. Domestic demand is playing an ever more important role in underpinning growth as interest rates drop and the availability of credit cards and mortgages increases. Current account deficits of around 2% of GDP are beginning to decline[citation needed] as demand for Romanian products in the European Union increases. Accession to the EU gives further impetus and direction to structural reform.

In early 2004 the government passed increases in the value-added tax (VAT) and tightened eligibility for social benefits with the intention to bring the public finance gap down to 4% of GDP by 2006, but more difficult pension and healthcare reforms will have to wait until after the next elections. Privatization of the state-owned bank Banca Comercială Română took place in 2005. Intensified restructuring among large enterprises, improvements in the financial sector, and effective use of available EU funds is expected to accelerate economic growth. However, the Romanian economy was affected by the financial crisis of 2007–08 and contracted in 2009.[44]

Investments in Romania[edit]

The level of investment remains above EU average. Investment accounts for almost 25% of GDP in Romania as opposed to 19% of GDP in the EU, in 2016.[45]

EU membership (2007)[edit]

Eurozone participation
European Union (EU) member states
  19 in the eurozone.
  7 not in ERM II, but obliged to join the eurozone on meeting convergence criteria (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden).
  1 in ERM II, with an opt-out (Denmark).
  1 not in ERM II with an opt-out (United Kingdom).
Non-EU member states
  4 using the euro with a monetary agreement (Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City).
  2 using the euro unilaterally (Kosovo[a] and Montenegro).

On 1 January 2007 Romania entered the EU; this led to some immediate international trade liberalization. Romania is part of the European single market which represents more than 508 million consumers. Several domestic commercial policies are determined by agreements among European Union members and by EU legislation; this is to be contrasted with enormous current account deficits. Low interest rates guarantee availability of funds for investment and consumption. For example, a boom in the real estate market started around 2000 and has not subsided yet. At the same time annual inflation in the economy is variable and during the mid-2000s (2003–2008) has seen a low of 2.3% and high of 7.8%.

In the winter of 2004 the government introduced a flat tax of 16% that was introduced on 1 January 2005; this is done in hope for higher GDP growth and greater tax collection rates. The reform, which some called a "revolution" in taxation, was met with mild discussions and some protests by affected working classes. Romania subsequently enjoyed the lowest fiscal burden in the European Union, until Bulgaria also switched to a flat tax of 10% in 2007.

The accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the European Union has given the Union access to the Black Sea. Major industries include food processing, pharmaceuticals, motor vehicles, information technology, chemicals, metallurgy, machinery, electrical goods, and tourism.

Romania posted an economic growth of 6 percent in 2016, the biggest among European Union member states. According to Bloomberg, the country’s economic growth advanced at the fastest pace since 2008,[46] it is now considered the next tech-startup hub country in EU. Nowadays, that Romania’s digital infrastructure ranks higher than other eastern and central European countries makes it an attractive place to start a tech business.[47]



IMF for 2019 published the following data:[48]

Year 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
$/per capita (PPP) 27,753 29,184 30,686 32,263 33,922 35,673
$/per capita (Nominal) 12,575 13,664 14,828 15,986 17,229 18,520

In the Romanian press the economy has been referred to as the "Tiger of the East" during the 2000s.[24] Romania is a country of considerable economic potential: over 10 million hectares of agricultural land, diverse energy sources (coal, oil, natural gas, hydro, nuclear and wind), a substantial, if aging, manufacturing base and opportunities for expanded development in tourism on the Black Sea and in the mountains.


Net investments in Romania’s economy totaled RON 33.6 billion (EUR 7.2 billion) in the first half of 2018, up by 5.8% compared to the same period of 2017, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS).[49]


The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2017. Inflation under 2% is in green.[50]

Year GDP
(in Bil. US$ PPP)
GDP per capita
(in US$ PPP)
GDP growth
Inflation rate
(in Percent)
(in Percent)
Government debt
(in % of GDP)
1980 107.0 4,769 Increase3.3 % Increase1.5 % n/a n/a
1981 Increase117.1 Increase5,188 Increase0.1 % Negative increase2.2 % n/a n/a
1982 Increase129.3 Increase5,698 Increase3.9 % Negative increase16.9 % n/a n/a
1983 Increase142.4 Increase6,253 Increase6.0 % Negative increase4.7 % n/a n/a
1984 Increase156.3 Increase6,836 Increase6.0 % Positive decrease−0.3 % n/a n/a
1985 Increase161.1 Increase7,016 Decrease−0.1 % Positive decrease−0.2 % 4.0 % n/a
1986 Increase168.4 Increase7,291 Increase2.4 % Increase0.7 % Positive decrease3.9 % n/a
1987 Increase174.0 Increase7,493 Increase0.8 % Increase1.1 % Positive decrease3.7 % n/a
1988 Increase179.2 Increase7,677 Decrease−0.5 % Negative increase2.6 % Steady3.7 % n/a
1989 Decrease175.4 Decrease7,486 Decrease−5.8 % Increase0.9 % Positive decrease3.4 % n/a
1990 Decrease171.7 Decrease7,319 Decrease−5.6 % Negative increase127.9 % Steady3.4 % n/a
1991 Decrease154.5 Decrease6,594 Decrease−12.9 % Negative increase161.1 % Negative increase3.5 % n/a
1992 Decrease144.1 Decrease6,177 Decrease−8.8 % Negative increase210.4 % Negative increase5.4 % n/a
1993 Increase149.8 Increase6,456 Increase1.5 % Negative increase256.1 % Negative increase9.2 % n/a
1994 Increase159.0 Increase6,894 Increase3.9 % Negative increase136.7 % Negative increase11.0 % n/a
1995 Increase173.9 Increase7,586 Increase7.1 % Negative increase32.3 % Positive decrease9.9 % n/a
1996 Increase184.1 Increase8,075 Increase6.8 % Negative increase38.8 % Positive decrease7.3 % n/a
1997 Decrease175.9 Decrease7,756 Decrease−6.1 % Negative increase154.8 % Negative increase7.9 % n/a
1998 Decrease169.3 Decrease7,501 Decrease−4.8 % Negative increase59.1 % Negative increase9.6 % n/a
1999 Increase169.9 Increase7,564 Decrease−1.2 % Negative increase45.8 % Positive decrease7.2 % n/a
2000 Increase178.8 Increase7,970 Increase2.9 % Negative increase45.7 % Negative increase7.6 % 17.6 %
2001 Increase193.1 Increase8,618 Increase5.6 % Negative increase34.5 % Positive decrease7.3 % Positive decrease16.1 %
2002 Increase206.2 Increase9,462 Increase5.2 % Negative increase22.2 % Negative increase8.3 % Positive decrease16.0 %
2003 Increase222.0 Increase10,264 Increase5.5 % Negative increase15.3 % Positive decrease7.8 % Positive decrease14.8 %
2004 Increase247.1 Increase11,484 Increase8.4 % Negative increase11.9 % Negative increase8.0 % Positive decrease10.5 %
2005 Increase265.7 Increase12,428 Increase4.2 % Negative increase9.0 % Positive decrease7.1 % Positive decrease8.0 %
2006 Increase296.0 Increase13,923 Increase8.1 % Negative increase6.6 % Negative increase7.2 % Positive decrease3.8 %
2007 Increase324.7 Increase15,366 Increase6.8 % Negative increase4.8 % Positive decrease6.3 % Negative increase5.1 %
2008 Increase358.4 Increase17,369 Increase8.3 % Negative increase7.8 % Positive decrease5.5 % Negative increase8.1 %
2009 Decrease339.8 Decrease16,623 Decrease−5.9 % Negative increase5.6 % Negative increase6.3 % Negative increase15.4 %
2010 Decrease334.3 Decrease16,470 Decrease−2.8 % Negative increase6.1 % Negative increase7.0 % Negative increase22.9 %
2011 Increase348.1 Increase17,233 Increase2.0 % Negative increase5.8 % Negative increase7.2 % Negative increase27.3 %
2012 Increase358.9 Increase17,859 Increase1.2 % Negative increase3.3 % Positive decrease6.8 % Negative increase28.9 %
2013 Increase377.6 Increase18,860 Increase3.5 % Negative increase4.0 % Negative increase7.1 % Negative increase29.5 %
2014 Increase396.2 Increase19,855 Increase3.1 % Increase1.1 % Positive decrease6.8 % Negative increase29.7 %
2015 Increase416.4 Increase20,950 Increase4.0 % Positive decrease−0.6 % Steady6.8 % Steady29.7 %
2016 Increase442.0 Increase22,369 Increase4.8 % Positive decrease−1.6 % Positive decrease5.9 % Positive decrease27.9 %
2017 Increase481.5 Increase24,508 Increase7.0 % Increase1.3 % Positive decrease5.0 % Negative increase28.3 %
2018 Increase514.5 Increase28,508 Increase5.0 % Increase1.3 % Positive decrease4.0 % Negative increase28.3 %
2019 Increase545.5 Increase29,508 Increase4.0 % Increase1.3 % Positive decrease3.4 % Negative increase28.3 %

National budget[edit]

The planned national budget for 2017 is 422 billion lei ($103 billion), with an estimated budget deficit to GDP of 1.1%.

Economic growth[edit]

GDP growth reached 8.3% in 2006 according to the statistical office of the Romania (the year-to-year growth amounted to unexpected 9.8% in the 3rd quarter of 2006 and stayed high at 9.5% year-to-year change in the 4th quarter of 2006), and 8.0% in 2007. In the first nine months of the year 2017, the Romanian GDP grew by 7% on gross series and by 6.9 percent on seasonally adjusted series.

Growing middle class[edit]

Romania has growing middle and upper classes with relatively high per capita incomes. World Bank estimated that in 2002 99% of the urban and 94% of the rural population had access to electricity. In 2004, 91% of the urban and only 16% of the rural population had access to improved water supply and 94% of the urban population had access to improved sanitation.[51] In 2017 there were about 22.5 million mobile phone users in Romania and about 18 million with internet access.

In March 2017, the gross average monthly wage was RON 3,256 (€716), and the net average monthly wage was RON 2,342 (€515).[52]


Countries tend to benefit from sharing borders with developed markets as this facilitates trade and development. Below is a table of Romania's neighboring countries, their GDP per capita, and trade values between the pairs. In 2017, 11.58% of Romanian exports went to its neighbors; while 12.95% of imports came from these five countries. For comparison, Germany alone accounted for 23% of Romania's exports and 20.1% of its imports.[53]

Country GDP per capita,
PPP (current international $) 2017[54]
in GDP PPP (%)
Hungary 28,108 8
Romania 26,498 [55]
Bulgaria 20,329 -18
Serbia 15,090 -36
Ukraine 8,667 -64
Moldova 5,698 -77

Minimum wage in Romania[edit]

The ministry’s proposal is to increase the minimum gross wage in the economy to RON 2,080 (EUR 446) starting December 1, 2018. For employees working on positions that require upper education, the minimum gross salary will be RON 2,350 (EUR 504); the same minimum wage will apply to employees with a seniority of over 15 years.

Wealth per adult[edit]

In 2018, the median wealth per adult in Romania was estimated by Credit Suisse at USD 6,658. Average wealth per adult was USD 20,321.[56]

62% of the 15.6 million Romanian adults had a wealth of less than USD 10,000.[57]


Romania is the most popular tourist destination from Central and Eastern Europe with more than 15.7 million domestic and foreign tourists in 2018. This figure excludes people staying less than 24 hours in Romania, such as eastearn Europeans crossing Romania on their way to Asia or South Europe during the summer.

Romania is home to cities of much cultural interest (Bucharest being the foremost), beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquillity. Romania also attracts many religious pilgrims, which hosts several thousands visitors a year.


One new leu bank-note

The leu (pronounced [ˈlew]), plural: lei ([ˈlej]); (ISO 4217 code RON; numeric code 946), "leo" (lion) in English is the currency of Romania. It is subdivided into 100 bani (singular: ban). On 1 July 2005, Romania underwent a currency reform, switching from the previous leu (ROL) to a new leu (RON). 1 RON is equal to 10,000 ROL. Romania joined the European Union on 1 January 2007 and initially hoped to adopt the euro in 2014,[58] but with the deepening of the Euro crisis and with its own problems, such as a low workforce productivity, postponed its adoption plans indefinitely.[59]

According to Bloomberg, the Romanian currency is the third-best performer against the euro in 2016 among currencies in CEE area, gaining 1.4 percent.[60]

Fulfillment of the Maastricht criteria[edit]

Romania, as a member state of the European Union, is required to adopt the common European currency, the Euro. For this reason Romania must fulfil the five Maastricht criteria, of which it met two as of May 2018.

Convergence criteria
Assessment month Country HICP inflation rate[61][nb 1] Excessive deficit procedure[62] Exchange rate Long-term interest rate[63][nb 2] Compatibility of legislation
Budget deficit to GDP[64] Debt-to-GDP ratio[65] ERM II member[66] Change in rate[67][68][nb 3]
2012 ECB Report[nb 4] Reference values Max. 3.1%[nb 5]
(as of 31 Mar 2012)
None open (as of 31 March 2012) Min. 2 years
(as of 31 Mar 2012)
Max. ±15%[nb 6]
(for 2011)
Max. 5.80%[nb 7]
(as of 31 Mar 2012)
(as of 31 Mar 2012)
Max. 3.0%
(Fiscal year 2011)[71]
Max. 60%
(Fiscal year 2011)[71]
 Romania 4.6% Open No -0.6% 7.25% No
5.2% 33.3%
2013 ECB Report[nb 8] Reference values Max. 2.7%[nb 9]
(as of 30 Apr 2013)
None open (as of 30 Apr 2013) Min. 2 years
(as of 30 Apr 2013)
Max. ±15%[nb 6]
(for 2012)
Max. 5.5%[nb 9]
(as of 30 Apr 2013)
(as of 30 Apr 2013)
Max. 3.0%
(Fiscal year 2012)[74]
Max. 60%
(Fiscal year 2012)[74]
 Romania 4.1% Open (Closed in June 2013) No -5.2% 6.36% Unknown
2.9% 37.8%
2014 ECB Report[nb 10] Reference values Max. 1.7%[nb 11]
(as of 30 Apr 2014)
None open (as of 30 Apr 2014) Min. 2 years
(as of 30 Apr 2014)
Max. ±15%[nb 6]
(for 2013)
Max. 6.2%[nb 12]
(as of 30 Apr 2014)
(as of 30 Apr 2014)
Max. 3.0%
(Fiscal year 2013)[77]
Max. 60%
(Fiscal year 2013)[77]
 Romania 2.1% None No 0.9% 5.26% No
2.3% 38.4%
2016 ECB Report[nb 13] Reference values Max. 0.7%[nb 14]
(as of 30 Apr 2016)
None open (as of 18 May 2016) Min. 2 years
(as of 18 May 2016)
Max. ±15%[nb 6]
(for 2015)
Max. 4.0%[nb 15]
(as of 30 Apr 2016)
(as of 18 May 2016)
Max. 3.0%
(Fiscal year 2015)[80]
Max. 60%
(Fiscal year 2015)[80]
 Romania -1.3% None No 0.0% 3.6% No
0.7% 38.4%
2018 ECB Report[nb 16] Reference values Max. 1.9%[nb 17]
(as of 31 Mar 2018)
None open (as of 3 May 2018) Min. 2 years
(as of 3 May 2018)
Max. ±15%[nb 6]
(for 2017)
Max. 3.2%[nb 18]
(as of 31 Mar 2018)
(as of 20 March 2018)
Max. 3.0%
(Fiscal year 2017)[83]
Max. 60%
(Fiscal year 2017)[83]
 Romania 1.9% None No -1.7% 4.1% No
2.9% 35.0%

  Criterion fulfilled
  Criterion potentially fulfilled: If the budget deficit exceeds the 3% limit, but is "close" to this value (the European Commission has deemed 3.5% to be close by in the past),[84] then the criteria can still potentially be fulfilled if either the deficits in the previous two years are significantly declining towards the 3% limit, or if the excessive deficit is the result of exceptional circumstances which are temporary in nature (i.e. one-off expenditures triggered by a significant economic downturn, or by the implementation of economic reforms that are expected to deliver a significant positive impact on the government's future fiscal budgets). However, even if such "special circumstances" are found to exist, additional criteria must also be met to comply with the fiscal budget criterion.[85][86] Additionally, if the debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 60% but is "sufficiently diminishing and approaching the reference value at a satisfactory pace" it can be deemed to be in compliance.[86]
  Criterion not fulfilled

  1. ^ The rate of increase of the 12-month average HICP over the prior 12-month average must be no more than 1.5% larger than the unweighted arithmetic average of the similar HICP inflation rates in the 3 EU member states with the lowest HICP inflation. If any of these 3 states have a HICP rate significantly below the similarly averaged HICP rate for the eurozone (which according to ECB practice means more than 2% below), and if this low HICP rate has been primarily caused by exceptional circumstances (i.e. severe wage cuts or a strong recession), then such a state is not included in the calculation of the reference value and is replaced by the EU state with the fourth lowest HICP rate.
  2. ^ The arithmetic average of the annual yield of 10-year government bonds as of the end of the past 12 months must be no more than 2.0% larger than the unweighted arithmetic average of the bond yields in the 3 EU member states with the lowest HICP inflation. If any of these states have bond yields which are significantly larger than the similarly averaged yield for the eurozone (which according to previous ECB reports means more than 2% above) and at the same time does not have complete funding access to financial markets (which is the case for as long as a government receives bailout funds), then such a state is not be included in the calculation of the reference value.
  3. ^ The change in the annual average exchange rate against the euro.
  4. ^ Reference values from the ECB convergence report of May 2012.[69]
  5. ^ Sweden, Ireland and Slovenia were the reference states.[69]
  6. ^ a b c d e The maximum allowed change in rate is ± 2.25% for Denmark.
  7. ^ Sweden and Slovenia were the reference states, with Ireland excluded as an outlier.[69]
  8. ^ Reference values from the ECB convergence report of June 2013.[72]
  9. ^ a b Sweden, Latvia and Ireland were the reference states.[72]
  10. ^ Reference values from the ECB convergence report of June 2014.[75]
  11. ^ Latvia, Portugal and Ireland were the reference states, with Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus excluded as outliers.[75]
  12. ^ Latvia, Ireland and Portugal were the reference states.[75]
  13. ^ Reference values from the ECB convergence report of June 2016.[78]
  14. ^ Bulgaria, Slovenia and Spain were the reference states, with Cyprus and Romania excluded as outliers.[78]
  15. ^ Slovenia, Spain and Bulgaria were the reference states.[78]
  16. ^ Reference values from the ECB convergence report of May 2018.[81]
  17. ^ Cyprus, Ireland and Finland were the reference states.[81]
  18. ^ Cyprus, Ireland and Finland were the reference states.[81]

Natural resources[edit]

Romania is an oil and gas producer; the pipeline network in Romania included 2,427 km for crude oil, 3,850 km for petroleum products, and 3,508 km for natural gas in 2006. Several major new pipelines are planned, especially the Nabucco Pipeline for Caspian oilfields, the longest one in the world. Romania could cash in four billion dollars from the Constanta-Trieste pipeline.[87]

Romania has considerable[vague] natural resources for a country of its size, including coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, uranium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestine (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land and hydropower.[7]

Romania's mineral production is adequate to supply its manufacturing output.[citation needed] Energy needs are also met by importing bituminous and anthracite coal and crude petroleum. In 2007 approximately 34 million tons of coal, approximately 4,000 tons of tungsten, 565,000 tons of iron ore, and 47,000 tons of zinc ore were mined. Lesser amounts of copper, lead, molybdenum, gold, silver, kaolin, and fluorite also were mined.[citation needed]


The Iron Gate I Hydro Power Plant, a joint venture between Romania and Serbia

The energy sector is dominated by state-owned companies such as Termoelectrica, Hidroelectrica and Nuclearelectrica. Fossil fuels are the country's primary source of energy, followed by hydroelectric power.

Nuclear energy in Romania[edit]

Due to dependency on oil and gas imports from Russia, the country has placed an increasingly heavy emphasis on nuclear energy since the 1980s; the Cernavodă Nuclear Power Plant is the only one of its kind in Romania, although there are plans to build a second one in Transylvania, possibly after 2020.[88]

For domestic heating and cooking 48% of rural and small-town households use directly burned solid fuel (almost exclusively domestically produced wood) as the main energy source.[89]

Wind power had an installed capacity of 76 MW in 2008,[90] and the country has the largest wind power potential in Southeast Europe, with Dobruja listed as the second-best place in Europe to construct wind farms;[91] as a result, there are currently[when?] investor connection requests for over 12,000 MW.[92] There are also plans to build a number of solar power stations, such as the Covaci Solar Park, which will be one of the largest in the world.[93][94]

Of the electricity generated in 2007, 13.1 percent came from nuclear plants then in operation, 41.69 percent from thermal plants (oil and coal), and 25.8 percent from hydroelectric sites.[95]

Physical infrastructure[edit]

The volume of traffic in Romania, especially goods transportation, has increased in recent years due to its strategic location in South-East Europe. In the past few decades, much of the freight traffic shifted from rail to road. A further strong increase of traffic is expected in the future.

As of May 2019, 807 km [96] of motorways are in use with Lugoj-Deva to be finished in august 2019 while Sibiu-Pitesti is still tendering; the railway network, which was significantly expanded during the Communist years, is the fourth largest in Europe.[97]

Bucharest is the only city in Romania which has an underground railway system, comprising both the Bucharest Metro and the light rail system managed by Regia Autonomă de Transport Bucureşti. Although construction was planned to begin in 1941, due to geo-political factors, the Bucharest Metro was only opened in 1979. Now it is one of the most accessed systems of the Bucharest public transport network with an average ridership of 800,000 passengers during the workweek.[98] In total, the network is 71 km long and has 53 stations.[99]

Sectors of the economy[edit]

Gas and natural resources[edit]

Romania has become a natural gas exporter.[100] Romanian Scientist, Lazar Edeleanu, had managed, for the first time in the world, to refine oil based products with sulphur dioxide, in other words separation from the oil of some hydrocarbon groups, without their chemical alteration.[101]


Agriculture employs about 29% of the population (one of the highest rates in Europe), and contributes about 8.1% of GDP. The Bărăgan is characterized by large wheat farms. Dairy products, pork, poultry, and apple production are concentrated in the western region.

Beef production is located in central Romania, while the production of fruits, vegetables, and wine ranges from central to southern Romania. Romania is a large producer of many agricultural products and is currently expanding its forestry and fishery industries; the implementation of the reforms and the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) have resulted in reforms in the agricultural sector of the economy.


Fishing is an economic mainstay in parts of the East of Romania and along the Black Sea coast, with important fish markets in places such as Constanta, Galati and Tulcea. Fish such as european anchovy, sprat, pontic shad, mullet, goby, whiting, garfish, Black-Sea Turbot or horse mackerel are landed at ports such as Constanta.

There has been a large scale decrease in employment in the fishing industry within Romania due to the EU's Common Fisheries Policy, which places restrictions on the total tonnage of catch that can be landed, caused by overfishing in the Black Sea. In tandem with the decline of sea-fishing, commercial fish farms – especially in salmon, have increased in prominence in the rivers and lochs of the east of Romania. Inland waters are rich in fresh water fish such as salmon, trout, and in particular, carp which traditionally has been the most popular fish, including its eggs (icre), fresh or canned.


Car industry[edit]

IT and other Industry[edit]

Romania has been successful in developing its industrial sector in recent years. Industry and construction accounted for 32% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2003, a comparatively large share even without taking into account related services; the sector employed 26.4% of the workforce. Romania excels in the production of automobiles, machine tools, and chemicals. In 2013, some 410,997 automobiles were produced in Romania, up from 78,165 in 2000.

In 2004 Romania enjoyed one of the largest world market share in machine tools (5.3%).[citation needed] Romanian-based companies such as Dacia, Petrom, Rompetrol, Bitdefender, Romstal and Mobexpert have expanded operations throughout the region. However, small- to medium-sized manufacturing firms form the bulk of Romania's industrial sector.

Romania's industrial output is expected to advance 9% in 2007, while agriculture output is projected to grow 12%. Final consumption is also expected to increase by 11% overall – individual consumption by 14.4% and collective consumption by 10.4%. Domestic demand is expected to go up 12.7%.

Industrial output growth was 6.9% year-on-year in December 2009, making it the highest in the EU-27 zone which averaged −1.9%.[102]

Romania has the third-highest percentage of women working in information and communications technologies (ICT) in Europe. 29% of their workforce is made up of women.[47]


In 2003 service sector constituted 55% of gross domestic product (GDP), and the sector employed 51.3% of the workforce. The subcomponents of services are financial, renting, and business activities (20.5%); trade, hotels and restaurants, and transport (18%); and other service activities (21.7%). The service sector in Romania has expanded in recent years, employing some 47% of Romanians and accounting for slightly more than half of GDP.

The largest employer is the retail sector, employing almost 12% of Romanians; the retail industry is mainly concentrated in a relatively small number of chain stores clustered together in shopping malls. In recent years the rise of big-box stores, such as Cora (hypermarket) (of the France) and Carrefour (a subsidiary of the French), have led to fewer workers in this sector and a migration of retail jobs to the suburbs.

Biotechnology industry[edit]

Romania is aggressively promoting and developing its biotechnology industry. Hundred of millions of dollars were invested into the sector to build up infrastructure, fund research and development and to recruit top international scientists to Romania. Romania features one of the world’s newest competitive bio-industries, in key areas as pharmacogenomics, protein engineering, glyco-engineering, tissue engineering, bio-informatics, genome medicine and preventive medicine. Romania is devoting substantial resources to developing universities and R&D facilities, increasing bioventure startups, growing bio-clusters (communities of biotechnology companies and institutions) and developing human resources, all with the goal of making it one of the world’s most advanced biotechnology regions.

Regional variation[edit]

The strength of the Romanian economy varies from region to region. GDP, and GDP per capita is highest in Bucharest; the following table shows the GDP (2015) per capita of the 4 counties and the capital city, with data supplied by CNP.[103][citation needed]

Rank Place GDP per capita[104]
1 Bucharest 26,652
2 Cluj 21,253
3 Timiş 20,301
4 Constanţa 19,782
5 Ilfov 18,648

The highest GDP per capita is found in Bucharest and surrounding Ilfov County. Values well above the national average are found in Timiş, Argeş, Braşov, Cluj, Constanţa, Sibiu and Prahova. Values well below the national average are found in: Vaslui, Botoşani, Călăraşi, Neamţ, Vrancea, Suceava, Giurgiu, Mehedinţi, Olt and Teleorman.[103]

Foreign trade[edit]

A chart of Romania's export products.

In 2017, Romania's largest trading partner was Germany, followed by Italy. Romania's main imports and exports are electrical machinery, motor vehicles & parts and industrial machinery.[105] While Romania imports substantial quantities of grain, it is largely self-sufficient in other agricultural products and food stuffs, due to the fact that food must be regulated for sale in the Romania retail market, and hence imports almost no food products from other countries.[106]

Romania imported in 2006 food products of 2.4 billion euros, up almost 20% versus 2005, when the imports were worth slightly more than 2 billion euros. The EU is Romania's main partner in the trade with agri-food products; the exports to this destination represent 64%, and the imports from the EU countries represent 54%. Other important partners are the CEFTA countries, Turkey, Republic of Moldova and the USA.[106] Despite a decline of the arms industry in the post-communist era, Romania is a significant exporter of military equipment, accounting for 3–4% of the world total in 2007. EU members are represented by a single official at the World Trade Organization.

During the first trimester of 2010, Romanian exports increased by 21%, one of the largest rates in the European Union, surpassed only by Malta; the trade deficit currently stands at roughly 2 billion EUR, the eighth largest in the EU.[107]

Miscellaneous data[edit]

Households with access to fixed and mobile telephone access[108]

  • landline telephone – 76% (2017)
  • mobile telephone – 115% (2017)

Broadband penetration rate

Individuals using computer and internet[108]

  • computer – 74% (2017)
  • internet – 87% (2017)

See also[edit]



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