Romania had the lowest natural resource productivity in 2020, ranking last in the European Union, even below Bulgaria, according to the latest Eurostat statistics.
The level of resource productivity varies widely between the EU Member States: from less than €0.4/kg in Romania and Bulgaria to €5.4/kg in the Netherlands in 2020.
After accounting for price differences, the Netherlands remains the EU Member States with the highest resource productivity (4.7 purchasing power standards (PPS) per kg), followed at a distance by Luxembourg (3.9) and Italy (3.7).
At the opposite end of the scale, three EU Member States registered resource productivity below 1.00: Romania (0.7 PPS/kg), Bulgaria (0.8) and Estonia (0.9).
These differences can be explained by a country’s natural resources, the diversity of its industrial activities, the role played by its services sector and its construction activities, the scale and patterns of its consumption and its various energy sources.
After a period of moderate growth in the early 2000s, resource productivity increased sharply during the financial and economic crisis of 2008-2009, resulting from pronounced falls in domestic material consumption. The crisis affected the material-intensive industries of manufacturing and construction more than the rest of the economy.
Then, following several years of steady growth, resource productivity slightly decreased in 2020. This was largely due to a significant decrease in GDP due to the COVID pandemic, while domestic material consumption decreased moderately (for more information) as the consumption of construction material and biomass remained stable.