Romanian Overdue Household Debt Doubles in Year on Euro Loans

Romanian Overdue Household Debt Doubles in Year on Euro Loans

Overdue private debt in Romania almost doubled in March from a year earlier, outstripping lending growth, as the currency weakened and interest rates rose, Bloomberg reported.

Loan payments that are at least 30 days overdue rose to 628 million lei ($271 million) in March from 326 million lei in the same month of last year, the Bucharest-based Banca Nationala a Romaniei said on its Web site today.

Overall household debt rose an annual 66 percent to 165 billion lei in March, spurred by rising wages that increased citizens lending power, the central bank said on April 23.

Lending in euros rose an annual 89 percent, making loans harder to repay in the past year as the leu has declined 10 percent against the euro. The central bank has also raised its main interest rate to 9.75 percent from 7 percent last October, increasing borrowing costs.

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