The leu made a strong start this year, gaining significantly against euro, after 2.12% growth within just 6 days.

“The main factor underlying leu’s outstanding performance is the positive sentiment toward the Romanian economy. At the end of last year, the sentiment was deteriorated due to the local political crisis, but now that the crisis ended, the sentiment turned positive again. The only problem that was pushing the leu downward was a perspective-related issue, and this has been solved. For now, the economic fundamentals point toward a higher leu,” Ionut Dumitru (photo), senior economist of Raiffeisen Bank told Wall-Street.

“The short-term performance depends on the market sentiment, but should the budget plan is passed and the positive sentiment persists, the EUR/RON rate will stand within the 4.1-4.15 range”, Ionut Dumitru added.

ING Bank expects the exchange rates to be near 4.15 lei/euro in first quarter 2010, after predicting a 4.7lei/euro rate for 2009.