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Moldova Increasingly Vulnerable To World Financial Crisis

CHISINAU (RFE/RL) -- Moldovan officials have said that the country's trade deficit grew by more than 50 percent in the first nine months of 2008, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

The government has denied that the international financial crisis would hit Moldova, but several economists told RFE/RL that the country is vulnerable to external shocks because of its increasing trade deficit and the economy's dependence on remittances from Moldovans working abroad.

Also today, the ratings agency Fitch reduced Romania's credit rating to "junk" status.

The Romanian central bank said the downgrade is "groundless," and that Romania is better prepared than other economies in the region to withstand the fallout from the financial crisis.

Romania is Moldova's largest trading partner.