Since the fall of communism, the Romanian economy has been transitioning from a centralized State-run economy to a market-driven one. During the decade of the 1990s the majority of the State-owned assets were privatized and harsh economic reforms were implemented, resulting in high unemployment and inflation up to 256%. The economy stabilized after the year 2004, amidst preparations for the country's accession to the European Union, and was one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union before the economic crisis of late 2008. The trend was reversed by the financial crisis. Between 2009-2015, Romania has concluded three agreements to receive financial assistance from the EU and IMF which were not extended, as the country failed to implement its obligation to introduce private management for state enterprises. Despite the financial incentives, Romania's growth has been sluggish in the first years after the crisis, but the country has recently started to recover . In 2016, the Romanian economy had the highest growth amoung the EU countries, driven mainly by internal demand.
Romania is a member of the European Union and the World Trade Organization. Its GDP ranks 41st in the world at Purchasing Power Parity, and its GDP per capita is 60th in the world at Purchasing Power Parity.
The largest economic segment is currently the service sector, accounting for 52.1% of Romania's GDP, followed by industry. The main industries are electric machinery and equipment, textiles and footwear, light machinery, auto assembly, mining and timber. The agricultural sector accounts for around a tenth of the country's production, despite employing almost a fifth of the population. Romania has a significant amount of natural resources, among which coal, iron ore, copper, gold, oil and gas, and minerals.
In 2014, the inflation rate was 1.07%, a record low for the country, while in 2015 and 2016 the country negative inflation was recorded. Unemployment sat at an estimated 5.5% at the end of 2016, with an estimated 14.1% of the population living below the poverty line, one of the highest rates in the EU.
The Romanian national currency is the New Romanian Leu (RON). While the country has been part of the European Union since 2007, the initial plans for joining the Eurozone in 2012 have been postponed indefinitely following the 2008-2009 financial crisis and its subsequent events.
Bucharest is Romania's most developed city, with the highest standard of living in the country. It contributes approximately 22.7% to the economy's GDP and a quarter to its industrial production. Its GDP per capita at Purchasing Power Parity is 131% that of the EU average and 240% of the Romanian average. The unemployment rate is 1.6%, one of the lowest in the country.
The city's main economic sectors are services and constructions. Bucharest is home to the headquarters of nearly all of the country's major companies. During the 2000's decade, the city witnessed a real estate boom, which led to an important increase in the average property prices. The city also has Romania's biggest IT&C industry, to the Bucharest Stock Exchange and an important retail sector. Bucharest is also Romania's major industrial hub, with numerous factories operating within the city limits, producing automotive equipment, industrial machinery and equipment, electric and electronic equipment, textiles and footwear, among others.
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