“We will have the final data on the budget deficit on January 25, when we should have the final results, but preliminary data suggest a gap between 7.2% and 7.3% of GDP,” said Gherghina.

Earlier this week, the state secretary with the Ministry of Finance said Romania had successfully met the 7.3% deficit target for 2009, without saying how close it was to the target agreed with the international financial institutions.

Romanian authorities together with IMF and EC have agreed on a budget deficit of 7.3% of GDP for end-2009, under the €20bln aid deal.

At the end of November, the country’s budget deficit was 5.98% of GDP, or 29.75 billion lei (€6.96 billion), after budget spending jumped 2.9% in the 11month period through Nov, while revenues fell 6%.