PM Grindeanu tells Parliament 2017 budget deficit will keep below 3 pct of GDP cap

The 2017 budget deficit will keep within the target of 3 percent of GDP, Premier Sorin Grindeanu on Monday told Parliament in the opening of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate plenary sitting.

“The annual budget is definitely an important moment for Romania, for the Government and for Parliament, because all short and medium-term public projects and programs are now being prioritized. It is perhaps the only time when the significance of political rhetoric is replaced by the cold realism of the figures in the state budget and social security budget bill. We can thus contribute to improving the living standard of Romanians in 2017, without claiming however that we can satisfy everybody. The 2017 draft budget is designed on a macroeconomic framework with a GDP of 815.195 billion lei and an economic growth of 5.2 percent. The cash budget deficit is estimated at 2.96 percent of GDP, while the EU-harmonised (ESA) deficit is 2.98 pct of GDP, falling below the deficit target of 3 percent of GDP, as per the Maastricht Treaty,” Grindeanu told the Parliament plenum.

The Prime Minister added that recent estimates by international institutions converge towards “an evolution of economy in 2017 similar to that envisaged when the budget was built.”

“The estimated gross government debt for 2017 is 37.7 pct of GDP and in the 2017 — 2020 medium-term it will be below 40 percent of GDP,” said Grindeanu.

He then went on to present the macroeconomic indicators considered for devising the 2017 budget blueprint. “An average annual inflation of 1.4 pct, an average wage of 2,274 lei and an average leu to euro exchange rate of 4.46,” the Premier said.

The head of the Executive also said that he expects the number of employees to rise by 4.3 percent, while “the unemployment rate is expected to drop to 4.3 percent at the end of 2017.”

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