COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
Belarusian government sees $2bn of withdrawals, issues $580mn worth of bonds in 2020
Lukashenko: I am no enemy of the people
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
One of Russia’s biggest wood product companies, Segezha could be Sistema’s next IPO
The volume of the Russian National Wealth Fund tops $183.93bn as gold overtakes dollar asset for first time
EU to begin certifying Russian Sputnik V vaccine for use in Europe
New Ukrainian VC firm QPDigital aims to invest up to $100 million in digital startups
EBRD investments reach record €11bn in pandemic-struck 2020
FPRI BMB Ukraine: Most Ukrainians are optimistic about 2021 – poll
OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
EBRD says loan to Estonia’s controversial Porto Franco project was never disbursed
Estonian premier quits after Tallinn development scandal
Top Centre Party official suspected of corruption in Tallinn real estate scandal
Czech Pirates and Mayors approve final coalition agreement for 2021 elections
OUTLOOK 2021 Czechia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
Romanian tech entrepreneurs expand into banking sector
OUTLOOK 2021 Hungary
Hungarian government remains silent after Capitol riots
World Bank expects modest recovery for Europe and Central Asia in 2021
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
Slovakia to invest €1.2bn in digitisation
BALKAN BLOG: The controversial recipe for building up Albania
Heavy flooding causes chaos in parts of Southeast Europe
Vodafone Albania plans €100mn infrastructure investments after AbCom merger
OUTLOOK 2021 Albania
Kyiv accuses Bosnian President Dodik of lying about icon gifted to Russian foreign minister
Bosnia’s real GDP contracts 6.3% y/y in 3Q20
Sofia-based LAUNCHub Ventures holds first close of new fund on €44mn
ING THINK: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
OUTLOOK 2020 Bulgaria
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
Zagreb Stock Exchange's Crobex10 index at highest level since March 5
OUTLOOK 2021 Kosovo
Arrera Automobili aims to launch Albania’s first supercar
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Moldova’s PM resigns to prepare the ground for early elections
Socialist lawmakers in Moldova scrap settlement on $1bn bank frauds
Montenegro’s new ruling coalition carves up top state jobs
OUTLOOK 2021 Montenegro
Vast tide of floating waste threatens Balkan hydropower plants
North Macedonia's manufacturing confidence indicator down by 8.5 pp y/y in December
OUTLOOK 2021 North Macedonia
Transparency International warns of high corruption risk in CEE defence sectors
Moldova fears flooding from Ukraine's planned Dniester hydropower plants
Romania’s industrial recovery paused in November
OUTLOOK 2021 Serbia
Slovenia’s opposition files no-confidence motion against Jansa cabinet
UK Moneyhub picks Slovenia for post-Brexit European base
Slovenia’s dire COVID-19 situation in 4Q20 caused second economic dip
Slovenia’s Eligma completes €4mn funding round
BEYOND THE BOSPORUS: Let’s tentatively pencil in a date for Turkey’s hot money outflow
Turkish opposition leader lawsuit demands one lira from Erdogan, police probe “bald” interior minister posts
OUTLOOK 2021 Armenia
Armenia’s PM cautions conflict with Azerbaijan “still not settled” after trilateral meeting with Putin
COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF
Russia, Kazakhstan pushing for oil production increases on the back of coronavirus vaccine-fuelled oil price optimism
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
Georgia’s political kingpin Bidzina Ivanishvili quits politics
Modern-day “Robin Hood” inspires Georgians drowning in debt
Iran’s navy conducts missile drill while analyst argues Trump even capable of nuclear strike in final days
TEHRAN BLOG: Who’s more credible? Johnson backing Trump’s Nobel chances or Iran applauding arrest warrant for US president?
STOLYPIN: Scope for limited progress under Biden, so long as the past remains the past
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
OUTLOOK 2021 Kyrgyzstan
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
OUTLOOK 2021 Tajikistan
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
Turkmenistan: The dammed united
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
OUTLOOK 2021 Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s Makro positions itself for growth in a more competitive market
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Romania’s industrial production volume index contracted by 3% y/y in July, after an even steeper annual contraction (-6.2%) in June, the statistics office INS said. The seasonally adjusted index is the weakest in more than two years after the combined 5.1% drop in June-July.
Industrial growth has remained feeble since the beginning of the year, with the highest growth rate (+1.9%) in February. Nevertheless, the whole picture should be taken with a grain of salt: fewer shirts but more automobiles might mean overall low output but more value added (and consequently higher wages and profits). This was not the case in Q2, when the value added generated by industry contracted in annual terms, but the shift to higher value added industry involves a lower increase or even contraction of gross industrial production.
The July industrial production figures came as no surprise after weaker external demand, the main driver behind the industrial slowdown, surfaced in the foreign trade data: exports contracted by 5.5% y/y in June and by 1.1% y/y in July.
Looking in more detail for the dynamics of the core manufacturing industries, the picture is not much different from that given by the overall index. Seasonally adjusted production is the weakest since July 2017 and it plunged by 3.5% in June-July.
In July indeed, the contraction in the core manufacturing industries (-2.5%) was milder than the average, while the activity in the utilities sector expanded by 2.3% compared to the same period last year. And there are specific industries that are still thriving: the production of transport means (cars) increased by 6.8% y/y (+9.2% y/y in January-July), crude oil processing also gained momentum by 2.9% y/y (+4.2% y/y in January-July), and production of construction materials remain robust (+5.3% y/y in July and +5.1% y/y in January-July).
Light industry is, however, contracting by double digit rates in response to higher wages. This is not necessarily a negative development as long as the unemployment remains low (it edged marginally up in July, but remains at very low levels) and the average wage keep rising (it rose by double digits over the last few months).
Speaking of the electronic and optical equipment industry on the one hand and electrical equipment on the other — the two including the production of car parts that is an important part of Romanian industry, furthermore sensitive to the industrial contraction in Germany, the picture is mixed: in January-July, the growth rate was feeble (+0.7% y/y) for the former but significant (+3.6% y/y) for the latter.
The mining and quarrying sector posted negative performances in both June and July (-7%-8%).
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