Bulgaria Economic Forecast

Bulgaria Economic Outlook

July 31, 2018

Economic activity appears to have kept pace in the second quarter thanks to a resilient domestic economy, led in large part by stronger household spending. Retail sales through May recovered from a weak first quarter, and unemployment hit an all-time low in June. Wage growth has been robust and, in turn, consumer confidence has been hovering near its one-decade high. Meanwhile, the first-quarter jump in fixed investment, which benefited from low interest rates and heavy EU-linked capital spending at the outset of the year, seems to have persisted; business confidence remains high and industrial capacity has increasingly tightened. Exports, on the other hand, began to soften in May after previously avoiding the drop in demand from the EU, and trade risks are seen mounting over the coming months as the bloc-wide slowdown hits the external sector. As for the country’s eventual adoption of the euro, progress was made in July as EU officials laid out their conditions for accession, which now include applying to join both the ERM-II and the bloc’s banking union sometime in the next year.

Bulgaria Economic Growth

Labor market gains are expected to slow this year, but household spending should still benefit from low unemployment and strong wage growth. Higher absorption of EU funds is expected to buttress fixed investment, which should see further support from the improving business climate and low interest rates. Sound fiscal policy should furthermore secure stronger FDI inflows. Met the why particular analysts expect growth of 3.6% in 2018, unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 3.4% in 2019.

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 Yield0.970.0 %Aug 15
Exchange Rate1.73-0.72 %Aug 15
Stock Market631-0.35 %Aug 15

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