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Romanian Economy Avoids Recession on Gains in Final Consumption

Romania’s economy averted a recession last quarter as gains in consumption and communication services offset a slump in agriculture.

Gross domestic product rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent from the previous three months, less than the 0.2 percent announced in a Feb. 14 preliminary report, after a 0.3 percent decline in the third quarter, the National Statistics Institute in Bucharest said today in an e-mail. GDP advanced an unadjusted 0.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011.

Romania’s economy is struggling to recover from a two-year recession that ended in 2010. The rebound was limited last year by a poor harvest and slowing export growth amid Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. GDP grew 2.2 percent in 2011.

“Romania’s economic performance could pick up this year to 1.3 percent provided there is a bumper harvest to support the agricultural sector and domestic demand ticks up,” analysts at Societe Generale SA, including Bucharest-based Roxana Hulea, wrote in a note before the data release.

Final consumption rose 1 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, after contracting 0.7 percent in the previous three months. Communications and information services led the gains with a 42 percent advance, according to the statistics office. Domestic demand was unchanged.

Agriculture declined 24.6 percent in the fourth quarter from the same period a year earlier. Construction output shrank 2.1 percent, while industry contracted 2.4 percent, according to the institute.

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