Bulgaria Economic Forecast

Bulgaria Economic Outlook

April 2, 2019

Detailed national accounts data revealed that the economy decelerated last year, after annual growth in the final quarter just inched up from Q3 on an improved performance in the external sector. Turning to 2019, momentum likely waned in Q1: Retail sales grew at a weaker pace in January compared to Q4, unemployment crept up in January–February, which, along with a fall in consumer confidence in Q1, indicate downbeat prospects for household spending. And while industrial output rebounded in January, business confidence tumbled throughout Q1, slumping to the lowest level in nearly five years in March. Meanwhile, the IMF noted in its Article IV consultation on 20 March, that while Bulgaria’s economic prospects remain solid, broad-based structural reforms are needed, especially in light of risks stemming from weaker trading prospects. On a positive note, Fitch upgraded the country’s credit rating outlook from stable to positive on 22 March, citing ongoing improvements in external and fiscal balances.

Bulgaria Economic Growth

The economy is expected to grow at a healthy pace this year. Rising wages should support solid growth in private consumption, while increased absorption of EU structural funds should aid robust capital spending. However, downside risks to the outlook stem from a greater-than-expected slowdown in global trade and weaker growth in key trading partners. FocusEconomics analysts project growth of 3.3% 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 %)3.810.211.86.13.7
Unemployment Rate11.810.710.08.07.1
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 Yield0.610.0 %Apr 22
Exchange Rate1.74-0.72 %Apr 22
Stock Market575-0.35 %Apr 18

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