The national currency is likely to end year at 4.50 lei against euro, up from 4 lei/euro at the end of 2008, and the average exchange rate in 2009 may reach 4.50 lei/euro rate this year, above 3.70units/euro of last year, according to forecasts of UniCredit Group’s analysts.
An average 4.50 lei/euro exchange rate in 2009 would imply a depreciation of the leu above this threshold this year, with a year-to-date rate oscillating between 4 and 4.30 lei/euro.

UniCredit analysts forecast a gradual appreciation of the local currency, so that the average exchange rate to swing around 4.40 lei/euro, only to fall below 4.30 lei/euro at the end of December 2010.

The government took into account an average 4 lei/euro exchange rate for the 2009 budget plan, and 4.09 lei/euro rate for end-December 2010.

CA deficit, likely to slow down to 9.8% of GDP

The depreciation of the national currency, combined with the decrease of exports, imports and the lowering energy price might trigger the reduction of CA deficit in Romania.

Therefore, UniCredit analysts say the current account deficit is likely to fall from 12.7% of GDP (17.4 billion euro) in 2008, to 9.8% of GDP (12.3 billion euro) in 2009. In 2010, UniCredit expects the CA deficit to shrink to 11.5 billion euro, namely 8.1% of GDP.

“Nevertheless, the current account deficit is deemed to remain one of the main concerns, given the global compression of the cash flow. The coverage of CA deficit with foreign direct investments will probably decrease to roughly 40% in 2009, which would lead to a contraction of currency reserves”, reads the UniCredit Group report.

Analysts forecast a 50% decrease of foreign direct investments, down to 4.5 billion euro in 2009 (3.6% of GDP), from 9.6 billion euro a year earlier (7% of GDP), only to increase slightly to 4.7 billion euro in 2010, when they will weigh merely 3.3% of GDP.

The National Commission of Prognosis (CNP) estimated a current account deficit of 12.2% of GDP for 2008, of 10.3% of GDP in 2009, and 9.5% of GDP for 2010 respectively. As for foreign direct investments, CNP forecasted a 7.1% weigh in GDP (9.93 billion euro) in 2008, 4.2% of GDP (6.05 billion euro) in 2009, and 5.2% of GDP (8.37 billion euro) in 2010, respectively.
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