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Romania Unexpectedly Avoids Recession as GDP Rose in 4th Quarter

Romania’s economy unexpectedly avoided entering a recession in the fourth quarter of last year as gross domestic product grew.

GDP rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent from the previous three months after a 0.4 percent decline in the third quarter, the National Statistics Institute in Bucharest said today in an e-mailed flash estimate. GDP advanced 0.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. The median estimate of six economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 0.1 percent quarterly contraction. Fourteen economists forecast 0.2 percent growth from a year earlier in a separate survey.

Romania’s economy, which went through its worst recession on record from 2008 until 2010, expanded 0.2 percent last year compared with growth of 2.2 percent in 2011, because of a poor harvest and slowing export growth amid Europe’s debt crisis.

“Romania’s GDP growth may stay subdued in the first half of 2013, but is expected to accelerate in the second half of the year on the back of strengthening domestic demand,” Szilvia Laszlo, a Budapest-based economist at DZ Bank AG, wrote in a note before the data release. “The average annual growth of GDP may accelerate to around 1.4 percent this year, and is likely to speed up to around 2.8 percent in 2014.”

The statistics institute will release a breakdown for four-quarter GDP on March 6, according to a calendar on its website.

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