Romania's Shadow Economy Equivalent to About 30 Percent of GDP

Which is not the biggest share in Europe, surprisingly


Romania's shadow economy moved from 29.4 percent of the country's GDP in 2008 to 29.6 percent in 2011. But as the country's economy shrunk during this interval, the shadow economy went down in nominal terms from EUR 41 billion in 2008 to EUR 38.2 billion in 2011, according to a recent study by Friedrich Schneider, Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, and AT Kearney. The average shadow economy in the EU stayed at some 19.2 percent in 2011, similarly to 2008.

Romania is among the European countries with the largest shadow economies as percentage of their GDPs, with Bulgaria ranking first however, with a 32.3 percent rate. Then comes Lithuania, with 29 percent, and Romania, third place. The smallest rates of shadow economy were posted by Austria – 8 percent, and Luxembourg, 8.2 percent. The Netherlands' shadow economy is also below the 10 percent threshold, with 9.8 percent.