Bulgaria Economic Forecast

Bulgaria Economic Outlook

May 7, 2019

Available data paints a mixed picture for the economy in the first quarter of the year, following relatively modest growth in the final stretch of 2018. On the one hand, industrial production logged the strongest expansion in nearly two years in February, largely owing to a strong pick-up in manufacturing output. This will likely bring Q1’s average growth well above that of Q4 2018, which points to upbeat supply-side activity. Moreover, on the external front, merchandise exports soared in February, leading to a significant rise in the January–February current account surplus from a year ago and hinting at an improved contribution to growth from net trade in Q1. On the other hand, after moderate growth in January, retail sales dipped in February—marking the first decline since March 2013. This, combined with higher unemployment and inflation, and lower consumer confidence, on average, in Q1 compared to Q4 2018 suggest that household consumption lost some stride in the quarter.

Bulgaria Economic Growth

Economic growth is seen holding largely steady this year. A tight labor market and rising wages should prop up consumer spending, while continued absorption of EU structural funds and low interest rates should support fixed investment. Global trade tensions and slower growth in the EU pose downside risks to the outlook. Met the why particular analysts project growth of 3.3% in 2019, which is 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 Yield0.620.0 %May 13
Exchange Rate1.74-0.72 %May 13
Stock Market567-0.35 %May 13

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