“The probability of a recession is very low. We think it is likely to register a positive economic growth”, said Popa.

He expects the economic advance to recover in 2010 to the potential level, which in the midst of a global crisis is calculated by BNR between 5 and 5.5% from the prior forecasts of 6%.

The government is taking into account a 2.5% economic growth, slightly above the BNR’s projection.

The solvency rate of the banks in Romania rose by half percentage at the end of 2008, against 1% in September, said Cristian Popa, BNR’s vicegovernor earlier today.

“Compared to the solvency data at end September, of 12%, the preliminary results for December indicate a half-percentage growth”, Popa added.

He said he expected a growth of outstanding loans, although their share in the overall credit volume will remain low.

The latter data made public by National Bank of Romania show that loan defaults reached 2.9 lei (719 million euro) at the end of 2008, up 2.6-fold from a year ago period.