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Romanian 11-Month trade deficit widens on demand and imports

Romania's trade deficit widened in the first 11 months of last year as higher wages and lower taxes boosted consumer demand, pulling in more imports.

The deficit for the period through the end of November, including the cost of freight and insurance for imports, stood at €12.83 billion ($16.73 billion), the National Statistics Institute said in an e-mail today. The November trade deficit was almost unchanged from October, at €1.63 billion as monthly exports rose to their highest level in 17 years. Imports in November stood at €4.08 billion, 23% more than in November 2005 and also 5.2% more than in October. November exports stood at €2.45 billion, a 21% increase from the same month of 2005 and also 9% more than in the previous month, the institute said. Romania's widening trade deficit is the main reason for the country's widening current-account gap. The International Monetary Fund and the European Union, which Romania joined on January 1, called on the government to curb the deficits and keep consumer prices under control. Imports in 11 months of last year rose almost 25% from 2005 to €36.67 billion, and exports increased almost 17% to €23.84 billion, the institute said. (Bloomberg)