Debt rose to 133.3 billion lei ($55 billion) as of Oct. 31, the Bucharest-based National Bank of Romania said in an e-mail today. The increase from September was 3.3 percent, the bank said.
Total outstanding loans in foreign currencies, mostly euros, increased an annual 63 percent to the equivalent of 68.6 billion lei, while leu-denominated loans increased 41 percent to 64.7 billion lei, the central bank said.
Central bank Governor Mugur Isarescu said on Nov. 1 he was concerned that foreign-currency lending ``exploded'' in recent months, increasing the risk associated with any depreciation of the local currency.
The leu was the world's worst-performer against the European common currency last week, falling the most since August 2005, as investors shunned higher yielding emerging-market assets amid a sell-off in Romanian stocks.
The leu strengthened 0.4 percent to 3.597 to the euro in trading in Bucharest as of 12:30 p.m. local time.