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Romanian 11-month current-account deficit widens on imports

Romania's current-account deficit widened to almost €8.9 bln ($11.5 bln) in 11 months of last year from €6.1 bln a year earlier, triggered by rising imports, the central bank said.

Foreign direct investment in the first 11 months of 2006 rose 84% to €8.3 billion from the €4.5 billion in the same period of 2005, the Bucharest-based bank said today in an e-mailed statement, based on preliminary data. Imports have become cheaper for Romanians as the inflow of cash from Europe strengthened the leu, the local currency, as the country joined the European Union on January 1. Lower taxes, higher wages and more loans have also given Romanians more cash to buy imported goods. (Bloomberg)