“At the end of our mission, when more economic data are available, we will be able to make more accurate projections and estimations for the remainder of the year”.

“The forecasts will stand below the March’s 4.1%, due to a sharper deterioration of Romania’s economy”, said Lybeck.

However, he refused to make public an exact figure, and added that at the end of IMF’s mission in August 10, the institution would release the final data on the economic outlook on Romania.

On Wednesday, minister of economy, Gheorghe Pogea told Realitatea TV that Romanian economy could contract this year by as much as 6.5-7.1%, above the level assumed by the government at its budget revision, of 4%. The prediction made by the minister of finance is the most pessimistic estimation ever made public by a member of the government.

Earlier, president Traian Basescu said at Prague that the economic growth would not turn positive in the second quarter, but expressed his hope that the economic performance would improve in the third quarter.

At the time Romania signed the financing agreement with IMF, the government took over the fund’s macroeconomic projections, which set the country’s GDP contraction at 4% in 2009.