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Responding to the need for statistical benchmarks for substantiating the public and private decisions that will be taken in the coming months in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Institute of National Statistics (INS) of Romania is making available a series of ad-hoc studies measuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Romanian economy, including rapid estimates for the decreases in economic activity, employment, and exports.
A first study, carried out during the first days of the pandemic outbreak in March, assessed the impact of COVID-19 on the economy using an ad-hoc survey by the regional statistics directorates. Over 800 respondents gave a first picture of the magnitude of the economic disaster that was expected to occur in March and likely to continue in April.
A second ad-hoc study aimed to evaluate the reduction of the economic activity as well as the negative impact on employment. Qualitative and quantitative data collected from a representative, nationwide sample of over 8000 companies was used to assess the overall impact and the impact by economic sectors. It was estimated that the volume of activity in the economy would decrease by 30 percent in March and by 40% in April compared to months with normal activity.
A third study estimated the reduction of foreign trade activity by enterprise characteristics including size, number of employees, legal form, etc. The study was carried out using a representative sample of more than 1700 companies and with a combined coverage of 70 percent of the regular foreign trade activity. A third of the responding companies estimated that their export volume will decrease by up to quarter of the normal volume, another 12 percent of the companies expected a drop by up to half their normal exports, and 7 percent of the companies expected an even higher impact.