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Romania GDP Falls in 3rd Quarter on Drought, Consumption

Romania’s economy shrank in the third quarter, the first contraction since the January-March period, according to revised data, as consumption fell and a drought hurt farm output.

Gross domestic product fell a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent from the previous three months, matching a Nov. 15 preliminary report, compared with 0.1 percent growth in the second quarter, the National Statistics Institute in Bucharest said on its website today. GDP declined 0.6 percent from the same period a year ago.

Romania’s economy went through its worst recession on record from 2008 until 2010 and a second one in the last quarter of 2011 through the first quarter of this year, according to the revised data. It will probably see growth slow to about 1 percent this year from 2.5 percent last year, because of sluggish industrial-output growth and a poor harvest amid Europe’s debt crisis, according to forecasts from the International Monetary Fund and the government.

“Falling external demand for Romanian industry and a harsh summer drought in agriculture took a severe toll on third-quarter economic growth and real GDP fell at the steepest pace since the introduction of austerity measures in the summer of 2010,” Banca Comerciala Romana SA economist Eugen Sinca said in a note today. “Economic growth will gain speed to 1.1 percent in 2013, from an estimated zero percent in 2012.”

Final consumption contracted 1.6 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, compared with 1.3 percent growth in the second quarter, according to the statement.

Construction output shrank 0.7 percent, compared with 3.6 percent growth in the second quarter. Agriculture, one of the main drivers of the economy last year, declined 30 percent in the third quarter, while industry fell 0.3 percent, according to the institute.

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