Romania’s exports of goods increased by 15.9 percent year-on-year in January to EUR 5.42 billion, but were outpaced by imports, government data showed on Monday.

According to National Institute of Statistics (INS), imports rose 17.3 percent in January to 6.2 billion, and the trade deficit widened 28 percent to EUR 775 million.

Romania’s trade gap surged 30 percent in 2017 to EUR 12.96 billion, as the government adopted during the last few years a strategy of wage-led growth, stimulating household consumption and GDP growth rates.

But this model has generated larger fiscal and current account deficits and experts insist Romania should change the economic model in order to obtain real long-term economic and social development.