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Romanian Economic Growth Slowed in Fourth Quarter on Exports

Romania’s economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter for the first time since June, as European austerity measures hindered export demand, final figures show.

Gross domestic product grew a seasonally unadjusted 1.9 percent from a year earlier, matching a preliminary report on Feb. 15 and compared with 4.4 percent in the third quarter, the National Statistics Institute in Bucharest said today. GDP shrank a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent from the previous quarter for the first time in five quarters.

Romania’s output growth will probably slow this year, after exiting its worst recession on record last year, as the European sovereign-debt crisis cuts demand for eastern European industry exports. The economy will probably grow as slow as 1.5 percent this year, less than an initial forecast of 1.8 percent, according to International Monetary Fund forecasts.

The economy grew 2.5 percent in 2011 from a year earlier, after contracting 1.3 percent in 2010, the statistics office said, confirming the Feb. 15 release.

Agriculture and industrial output, the main growth drivers in 2011, rose 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter and 2 percent, while final household consumption grew 1.4 percent, the second consecutive quarter of growth since 2008, according to the institute.

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