Bulgaria Economic Forecast

Bulgaria Economic Outlook

January 8, 2019

Available fourth-quarter metrics have been upbeat on the heels of a disappointing third-quarter outturn, which was held back by a fall in exports. Retail sales and industrial output each notched improvement in October and, despite deteriorating economic sentiment into November, hint that domestic demand remained in the driver’s seat through year-end. Furthermore, labor-market dynamics remain tight and inflation finally appears to be moderating, which should continue underpinning growth within the domestic economy in the year ahead. All this follows an underwhelming third quarter during which fixed investment stood out for its decent absorption of EU-linked structural funding and the external sector was hit by neighboring Turkey’s economic crisis. In early January, the Ministry of Finance projected a modest fiscal surplus for 2018 that landed roughly in line with Consensus; analysts, however, are less rosy on 2019 and have penciled in a deficit in light of upcoming European and local elections.

Bulgaria Economic Growth

Household spending is expected to moderate this year amid slower employment growth and elevated inflation, although election-year fiscal policy should cushion the cool-off somewhat. Fixed investment, meanwhile, should benefit from cheap borrowing costs and above-average absorption rates of EU funds. On the other hand, a pullback in global trade is likely to curb export growth, as is weaker external demand from the EU and Turkey. Met the why particular analysts expect growth of 3.4% in 2019, unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 2.9% in 2020.

Bulgaria Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)7.27.27.27.17.1
GDP per capita (EUR)5,7845,9376,3306,7767,141
GDP (EUR bn)41.942.845.348.150.4
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)0.91.33.63.93.6
Consumption (annual variation in %)-2.52.74.33.54.8
Investment (annual variation in %)0.33.42.7-6.63.8
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)-0.21.82.92.73.4
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)3.811.211.86.13.7
Unemployment Rate11.811.711.08.07.1
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-0.4-5.5-1.60.20.9
Public Debt (% of GDP)17.027.026.029.025.4
Money (annual variation in %)9.01.28.87.67.7
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)-1.6-0.9-0.40.12.8
Inflation Rate (HICP, annual variation in %)0.4-1.6-1.1-1.31.2
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)-1.3-0.9-1.7-2.94.2
Policy Interest Rate (%)0.020.020.010.00.0
Stock Market (annual variation in %)42.36.2-11.727.215.5
Exchange Rate (vs EUR)1.961.961.961.961.96
Exchange Rate (vs EUR, aop)1.961.961.961.961.96
Current Account (% of GDP)1.30.10.02.34.5
Current Account Balance (EUR bn)0.50.00.01.12.3
Trade Balance (EUR billion)-2.9-2.8-2.6-1.0-2.1
Exports (EUR billion)21.221.021.923.125.8
Imports (EUR billion)24.223.824.524.127.8
Exports (annual variation in %)7.8-0.94.25.411.5
Imports (annual variation in %)2.0-1.43.1-1.815.5
International Reserves (EUR)14.416.620.323.923.7
External Debt (% of GDP)88.091.974.071.166.0

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Bulgaria Facts

ValueChangeDate
Bond Yield0.850.0 %Jan 21
Exchange Rate1.72-0.72 %Jan 21
Stock Market568-0.35 %Jan 21

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