The GDP estimated for the first quarter of last year stood at 86.745 billion lei, up 8.2 percent on the similar period of 2007.

Romania's GDP climbed 2.9 percent in the last three months of 2008 on the fourth quarter of the previous year, to 159.43 billion lei.

Romania's Finance Ministry (MFP) anticipates an economic downturn of 4 percent and a budget gap of 4.6 percent of the GDP estimated at 531.25 billion lei for this year.

Data taken into account by MFP for the budget revision consider a 15 percent drop in exports and a 25 percent slash in imports. The current account gap could narrow to 7.5 percent of the GDP, from 12.3 percent last year.

Finance Minister Gheorghe Pogea told Reuters yesterday that Romania's economy is starting to show signs of improvement in April.

The country's GDP also decreased 3.4 percent in Q4 last year on the previous three months.