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BNR report: Romanian households' net wealth up 10 pct in 2021

The Romanian households' net wealth continued to grow at a robust pace of 10 percent in 2021, with real estate assets acting as the main growth driver, shows the Financial Stability Report released by the National Bank of Romania (BNR).

According to the cited document, the households' net wealth last year was in excess of 2.600 billion RON.

"The households' net wealth continued to increase at a robust pace during 2021 (+10 pct). Real estate assets are credited for the bulk of the growth (+13 pct), as they were driven by the robust evolution of real estate prices, along with expansion of the housing stock. The growth rate of financial assets slowed down from 34 pct in Q3 2020 to 3 pct at the end of 2021. An aspect worth mentioning is the divergent evolution of demand deposits (+25 pct in March 2022 vs. March 2021) compared to term deposits (-14 pct), as well as the speeding up of foreign exchange savings against national currency savings, indicating a high preference for assets with a high degree of liquidity, amid rising uncertainty caused by the conflict in Ukraine," the report states.

The BNR notes that the income polarization trend observed in previous years has gained momentum during 2021, with deposits higher than the 100,000-euro guarantee ceiling increasing by 14 percent, compared to a 4 percent growth for other depositors. Also, there was a significant increase in the ownership of investment fund equity and listed stocks, which went up by 80 pct and 2.3 pct of GDP, respectively, on the back of rising stock indices and the emergence of new financial applications.

According to the report, the evolution of the average net income was in line with the increase in consumer prices, as the real earnings index remained stable in March 2022 compared to the previous year. However, there are still significant differences in terms of the salary income distribution: 42 percent of the employment contracts registered in January 2022 were for a pay less than or equal to the minimum wage, and just 13 percent thereof provided for a pay above average.