Romanian GDP up

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s economy grew 6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, compared with 6.9 percent in January-March 2006, propped up by robust consumption and investment, official data showed yesterday. The expansion rate compared with 7.7 percent in the last quarter of 2006. A Reuters poll of analysts last month had forecast a 6.4 percent growth rate for the first quarter. The statistical office released GDP figures earlier this week but details were published only yesterday. Data showed final consumption jumped 11.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter against 10.5 percent in January-March 2006. Nominal GDP was 68.5 billion lei in the first quarter. The steepest rise, of 30.7 percent, was recorded in the construction sector, followed by agriculture with 9.2 percent. Industry rose 7.8 percent on the year in the first quarter against 4.8 percent in January-March 2006. Officials said first-quarter growth this year was slowed by poor value-added tax collection, as Romania, which switched to the European Union’s taxation procedures at custom points in January, needed some time to adapt its tax collection

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