Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm so insecure, or am I not? - The next enunciation from Romania's Master of Economics

Traian Băsescu, Romanina's able president whose expertise in economic matters was so obvious regarding the teachers' salary affair (covered in two earlier posts) was today once again in a gracious mood and offered his views on the GDP data realeased yesterday. He chose as the most suitable spot for such an act the Congress of Student Unions.

The president told his audience that despite the sharp decline on a year on year basis he was not certain whether the economy is in recession or not, neither could he confirm that Romania would be in such a state offically (i. e. GDP contraction was registered in two consecutive quarter on a quarter on quarter basis), and it is even less possible because teher were clear signs of recovery in april. But on the other hand he couldn't say whether Romani will be in recession in december or not, he could even imagine solid grwoth for this year, but ... One can imagine, just one typical sentence from the discourse in my rough translation: "According to our estimations, on wich I can rely, although it is not certain, I can transmit it to you only as an information, we begin to get out from recession, but in no case would I say that Romania is on its way out from the crisis." Isn't it nice?

Otherwise one can point out that the only reason that Romania's state of economy is not declared officially being a recession is the peculiar waay their statistical office publishes data: they never estimate GDP growth on a quarter on quarter basis. It is not impossible that using this measurement the data on the forth quarter in 2008 would have been signalling contraction.* Moreover, one can wonder what kind of signs can the president cnsider as signs of a brigther future arriving soon? Some modest growth in economic sentiment? It is only sigalling a slowdown in the contraction and not the beginning of postive growth. And even a very modest growth in the production on a month on month basis would mean no positive estimation of the yearly GDP due to the high growth rates in last year. This was exactly the case in March regarding the construction sector... All in all we can again view politicians leaving honesty in order to get electoral support. But at least this time the president was not capable to use the very subtle nationalism of the competition rethoric. Although Romania at the moment is in front of the pack downwards the slope...

*Ok, I was to generous in my estimatation of Mr. Băsescu. The communicate from the National Statistical Office is quite clear: "În trimestrul IV 2008 s-a înregistrat o reducere a Produsului intern brut faţă de trimestrul III cu
3,4 procente.
" In the 4th quarter of 2008 the a 3,4% decline of the GDP was registered compared to the 3rd quarter of 2008. It was again a lie or just the usual idiocy from Mr. Băsescu;

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