Romania Economy

Romania Economy


  • Basic data
  • Public finances and the state budget
  • Banking system
  • Tax system

Basic data

Outlook and state of GDP, indebtedness, fiscal stability, shocks, possible overheating of the economy, capital, regional comparison, inflation and unemployment.

In 2020, GDP decreased by 3.9% in real terms and reached 1,056 billion RON. Compared to 2019, household consumption in 2020 decreased by 0.9% to 5.0%, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In terms of GDP volume, Romania has imaginary leapfrogged the Czech Republic and is in 13th place within the European Union. Estimated GDP growth for 2021 is 5.6% and $13,900 per capita.

According to, Romania’s foreign debt increased by EUR 7.44 billion in 2021, reaching a total value of EUR 13 billion (56% of GDP). The amount and growth of foreign debt is considered by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) as a primary risk for the country’s fiscal stability. In 2020, Romania recorded inflation of 2.6%. Estimated inflation for 2021 is 5.0%. In January 2022, inflation reached 8.4%, then 8.5% in February 2022, and the EC’s full-year prediction is 6.1%. In 2021, Romania’s trade deficit is around USD 2 billion. Unemployment for 2021 is estimated at 5.4%, the prediction for 2022 is 5.0%. The highest rate of registered unemployment has long been in the southwestern region and the southeastern region of the country. The lowest rate of registered unemployment is in the capital Bucharest and its surroundings.

A brief description of the structure of the economy

In 2020, 21.30% of the labor force in Romania was employed in agriculture, 30.20% in industry and 48.60% in the service sector. Romania is the 7th largest producer of agricultural products in the European Union. The risk in this area is not so much COVID 19, but climate change. The challenge is the substitution of Ukrainian agriculture.

Romania is a net exporter of electricity. About a third of the energy produced comes from renewable sources, mostly from hydroelectric power plants. The only nuclear power plant is the Cernavodă power plant. The country also has one of the largest refining capacities in Eastern Europe and is working on natural gas extraction in the Black Sea. The structure of Romanian exports according to INS statistics: components for the automotive industry, insulated wires, cars, refined oil, wheat, rubber tires, seats, leather shoes. The structure of Romanian imports according to INS statistics: engineering products, electrical devices, transport and engineering equipment, mineral fuels, iron ores and steel products, medicines, medical supplies. Car companies Dacia and Ford operate in the country.


  • S&P – BBB-stable
  • Moody’s – Baa3 negative
  • Fitch – BBB- negative;
  • EULER Hermes rated the Country Risk Rating at B3 in March 2021
Pointer 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
GDP growth (%) 4.2 -3.9 6.5 4.4 4.2
GDP/population (USD/PPP) 33,326.60 32,027.10 35,390.00 38,710.00 41,530.0
Inflation (%) 3.8 2.7 5.1 6.1 3.4
Unemployment (%) 4.9 6.1 5.4 5 4.6
Export of goods (billion USD) 77.3 71.6 89.1 95 101.6
Import of goods (billion USD) 96.6 93 114.9 120.8 128.2
Trade Balance (Billion USD) -19.5 -21.7 -26.3 -26.4 -27.3
Industrial production (% change) -2.3 -9.2 9.2 5.2 4
Population (millions) 19.4 19.2 19.1 19 18.9
Competitiveness 49/63 51/63 48/64 ON ON
OECD export risk 03.VII 03.VII 03.VII ON ON

Source: EIU, OECD, IMD

Public finance and state budget

Public finance 2021
State budget balance (% of GDP) -6.7
Public debt (% of GDP) 49.6
Current account balance (billion USD) -18.3
Taxes 2022
F.O 10% with levies 45%
VAT 19% or 9% or 5%

State budget 2022, current status + outlook

The government is targeting fiscal consolidation, but a relatively slow economic recovery in 2021 and increased demands on public health and social security programs resulting from the protracted COVID 19 pandemic or from the war in Ukraine will significantly slow down this plan.

For 2022, the government is targeting a budget deficit of 5.84% of GDP against an estimated 4.6% economic growth. The 2022 budget was adopted in the final reading with 294 votes in favor and 120 against. In 2022, the law would freeze public wages and compensation at the end of 2021 levels for all government employees except those working in social assistance, health and education. GDP is estimated to grow to 1.317 trillion RON ($301 billion/€266 billion) next year. The 2022 budget assumes an average exchange rate of 4.98 RON per EURO and a net monthly average salary of 3,775 RON. The budget deficit is estimated at 5.84% of GDP.

In 2021, Romania started a process of fiscal and budgetary consolidation aimed at gradually reducing the deficit to 2.02% of GDP in 2025, according to the draft budget law.

Balance of payments, foreign exchange reserves, description of data in the table in the public finance section (i.e. state budget deficit/GDP, public debt/GDP), foreign debt, debt service

Budget revenues for next year are projected at 439.9 billion RON, while expenditures are forecast at 51billion RON. Investment spending is estimated at 88.4 billion RON in 2022, or 6.7% of GDP. Foreign exchange reserves of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) reached EUR 38.3 billion at the end of April 2021, an increase of 7.3% (EUR billion) compared to the end of March 2021. During April, revenues of EUR 4.17 billion and an outflow of EUR 1.58 billion.

The gold reserve remained at 10tonnes. Considering the development of gold prices, its value was EUR 4.88 billion. Romania’s reserves (currency + gold) as of April 30, 2021 were EUR 43.18 billion.

Banking system

According to the National Bank of Romania (BNR), the top ten largest banks hold 76.27% of the country’s assets. At the level of the overall banking system, assets exceeded RON 560 billion in 2020 and reached a record level of RON 639.7 billion in 2021. In the ranking of the most important 20 local banks, the cumulative assets in 2020 increased by 13.7% to the value of 54billion RON.

Even in 2020, the first three largest banks are Banca Transilvania, BCR owned by the Erste Group and BRD part of the Societe Generale group. In the ranking of the first 10 banks, the following changes were registered compared to 2019: Raiffeisen Bank took the fifth place instead of UniCredit Bank, and EximBank moved from the twelfth place to the tenth.

The largest Romanian bank is Banca Transilvania. Its total assets at the end of 2020 reached 10billion RON and 18.46% market share. BCR, which as of 2018 is still ranked second in the top of the local banking system after twenty years of being first, had assets worth R79.5 billion in 2020 and a 14.2% market share. BRD-SocGen remained in third place by assets (6billion RON) and 11% market share. The cumulative market share of the first 10 banks is 85.8%. On the other hand, more than half of the total, or 18 banks, have a market share below 1%.

The largest part of the Romanian banking system is held by foreign capital, the largest are from Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Greece.

The average growth rate of total private credit in 2021 was 10.7%, double that of 2020 (5.1%) and greater than 2019 (7.6%).

In 2020, most major banks reported less profit compared to 2019. Overall, bank profit was 5 billion RON (compared to billion RON in 2019).

For 2020, Banca Transilvania reported a profit of billion RON (down 26% from 2019), BRD-SocGen a net profit of 95million RRON (down 37.7% from 2019) and BCR net profit of 81million RON (37% more than the profit of 2019).

The interest rate on ROBOR loans reached the highest level since July 2013, i.e. 4.82%.

Tax system

A flat rate of 10% applies to natural persons.

Dividend income received by a Romanian resident is taxed at a special rate of 5%.

Taxable income from the sale of real estate is taxed at a rate of 3%.

The standard corporate income tax rate is 16%, including income from abroad.

Micro -enterprises (ie small companies that meet certain criteria and have a turnover of less than EUR 1 million) are subject to a rate of 1% or 3%.

The standard VAT rate is 19%. The reduced VAT rate of 5% applies to books, newspapers, magazines, textbooks, hotels, restaurants, access to museums, castles, cinemas, zoological and botanical gardens, amusement and recreational parks and sporting events.

Reduced rate VAT rate of 9% applies to orthopedic products, medicines (including veterinary), fertilizers, seeds and certain foodstuffs. From January 1, 2022, this reduced tax rate also applies to thermal energy.

No changes are expected.

Romania Economy