GDP, current US$ billion
GDP per capita, current US$
Life Expectancy at Birth, years (2015)
Romania held parliamentary elections in December 2016. A governing coalition composed of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Liberal-Democratic Alliance (ALDE) appointed a cabinet on January 29, 2018, following the resignation of a short-lived cabinet that governed from June 2017 to January 2018. The new Government’s priorities for 2018–20 include the improved absorption of European Union (EU) funds and a focus on securing investments in infrastructure and health care, reforming the pension system, and simplifying tax administration.
The Government’s program reconfirms Romania’s roadmap for achieving the Europe 2020 objectives for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth and prioritizes the use of EU funds in line with the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) envelope for 2014–20, which amounts to approximately €40 billion.
Anti-corruption activities continued to move forward, and Romania’s record in combating corrupt practices is informing similar regional efforts. The credibility of the country’s National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) was bolstered by its indictment of several high-profile figures in recent years, with strong public support demonstrated by the anti-corruption protests that have recently taken place against political attempts to weaken the independence of the judiciary.
Although Romania has significantly reduced its macro-fiscal imbalances since the 2008 financial crisis and achieved one of the highest growth rates in the EU in 2017, the challenge for the Government is to remove structural obstacles to the economy and ensure that the benefits of prosperity reach all citizens, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
Romania has one of the highest poverty rates in the EU. The share of Romanians at risk of poverty after social transfers increased from 21.6% in 2010 to 25.3% in 2016. However, the share of the at-risk population decreased from 41.5% in 2010 to 38.8% in 2016.
Economic growth in 2017 was fueled by private consumption boosted by fiscal stimuli and increases in the minimum and public sector wages as well as pensions. Despite improvements in recent years, concerns about governance and weak administration limit Romania’s competitive advantages.
Last Updated: Apr 17, 2018