Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Romania industrial output falls but seen stabilising

BUCHAREST, April 8 (Reuters) - Romania's adjusted industrial output fell 12 percent on the year, as the global crisis continued to hammer manufacturing, but the figure was slightly below January's fall, showing signs that output was stabilising.Tumbling demand from the euro zone has hurt central and eastern European economies in recent months, forcing many manufacturers to halt production and lay off workers.

But analysts said the data, released by the statistics board on Wednesday, showed the output stabilising from January's annual fall of 12.1 percent.'The figure is neutral, maybe even slightly positive since we have seen an acceleration of declines in the region,' said Nicolaie Alexandru-Chidesciuc, ING Bank senior economist.'The relative stagnation is likely due to better exports ... probably cars. I continue to expect a slight improvement, a smaller minus in March.'Romania has switched from being the European Union's fastest-rising economy to one of its most vulnerable in just a few months, as its dependence on evaporating foreign cash exposes it to a potential financing crisis.In March it secured a 20 billion euro loan led by the International Monetary Fund, becoming the third European Union state to ask for outside help to plug its vast funding needs and calm jittery markets.Analysts have said that while the loan will help Romania avoid meltdown, it will not be enough to avoid recession.

Statistical data released on Wednesday showed output fell 0.6 percent on the month in February, compared to January's rise of 0.9 percent. The figures are adjusted seasonally and for the number of working days.

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