Country Listing

Romania Table of Contents



According to long-standing PCR predictions, by 1990 Romania was to have attained the status of a "medium-developed country," and by the year 2000, it was to have become a multilaterally developed socialist country. By the end of the century, according to Ceausescu's vision, the country would have an overwhelmingly industrial economy, employing a well-trained, highly skilled work force in technologically advanced branches, such as electronics, computers, and aeronautics. The "new agrarian revolution" would have made agriculture more productive by applying the latest scientific advances and better utilizing available resources.

As late as 1989, Ceausescu was confidently predicting that during the Ninth Five-Year Plan (1991-95) the energy problem would be completely resolved. The plan would focus on modernizing metallurgy, chemistry, mining, oil production, and raw material processing. Foreign trade would receive greater emphasis, and Romania would remain an active member of Comecon. The rate of accumulation and investment in the economy would remain among the world's highest, hovering around one-third of gross national product. Achieving these goals would mean a continuation of consumer sacrifice and no immediate improvement in the standard of living.

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Several excellent English-language publications dealing with the Romanian economy appeared in the 1980s. Michael Shafir's Romania: Politics, Economics, and Society and William E. Crowther's The Political Economy of Romanian Socialism describe the evolution, structure, and performance of the economy in the twentieth century. Daniel N. Nelson's Romanian Politics in the Ceausescu Era provides insight into the relationship between the people and the political and economic institutions that control their lives. Richard F. Staar's fifth edition of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe summarizes the administrative changes of the 1970s and 1980s. The East European Economic Handbook, whose main contributor is Alan H. Smith, presents comprehensive statistical information and analysis of all aspects of the economy. Romania, 40 Years (1944-1984), edited by Vlad Georgescu, contains excellent essays by Paul Gafton and Serban Orescu on the performance of Romanian industry and agriculture since World War II. The Radio Free Europe Research publication is an indispensable source for the most current information and analysis of the economic situation in Romania. For readers of Romanian, Anuarul Statistic al Republicii Socialiste Romānia, published by the Central Statistical Directorate in Bucharest, is a useful reference work. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)

Data as of July 1989