So Romania’s economy grew by about 8% in the first quarter of this year.
To put this in context: Romania has been growing at a rate of around 6% per year nonstop since 1999. So — on paper at least — its economy has nearly doubled in size since then.
And you can see it. Bucharest bustles with traffic and new construction. People on the streets are visibly dressed better than just a few years ago. A large and growing middle class is serviced by European hypermarkets and superstores, including several Carrefours and an Ikea.
But… it doesn’t feel like a country that’s seeing Asian-style hothouse growth. Doing well, yes, but not that well.
I started a longish post discussing reasons for this (Geographical and sectoral imbalances, distribution issues) and also whether it’s sustainable (credit issues, balance of trade, of course demographics, corruption) but decided to throw this one to the commenters instead.
So: Romania. Good? Not so good? Sustainable?