Bulgaria Economic Forecast

Bulgaria Economic Outlook

May 12, 2020

The economy likely contracted in the first quarter, hit by measures adopted to contain the spread of coronavirus in March, as industrial output dropped in January–March and business and consumer sentiment fell in March. Turning to Q2, subsequent slumps in business and consumer confidence in April hint at a much sharper pace of contraction at the start of the quarter. On a more positive note, in late April the European Commission approved a EUR 150 million Bulgarian scheme to provide financial support to strained small- and medium-sized enterprises. Moreover, the government is considering giving Bulgarians holiday vouchers to support the hard-hit tourism sector, which could possibly start its summer season on 1 July. Meanwhile, in late April, Fitch Ratings downgraded the outlook for Bulgaria's BBB rating from positive to stable, due to lockdown measures.

Bulgaria Economic Growth

The economy is seen shrinking this year due to the Covid-19 blow. Domestic demand is set to shrink amid sustained job shedding and falling investment activity, while the tourism sector will be smashed by the collapse in travel and foreign demand. The severity and duration of the pandemic and associated containment measures are the key downside risks to the outlook. FocusEconomics panelists project the economy to contract 5.3% in 2020, which is down 2.2 percentage points from last month's forecast, before growing 5.1% in 2021.

Bulgaria Economy Data

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Population (million)7.27.27.17.17.0
GDP per capita (EUR)5,9466,3846,8467,4198,012
GDP (EUR bn)42.845.748.652.356.1
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)1.84.03.83.53.1
Consumption (annual variation in %)2.73.63.53.84.3
Investment (annual variation in %)3.42.7-6.63.25.4
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)1.82.92.73.41.1
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)10.211.86.15.44.5
Unemployment Rate10.48.06.75.74.7
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-5.5-1.70.11.11.8
Public Debt (% of GDP)27.126.029.325.322.3
Money (annual variation in %)1.28.87.67.78.9
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)-0.9-0.40.12.82.7
Inflation Rate (HICP, annual variation in %)-1.6-1.1-1.31.22.6
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)-0.9-1.7-2.94.24.1
Policy Interest Rate (%)0.020.010.00.00.0
Stock Market (annual variation in %)6.2-11.727.215.5-12.3
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)1.30.13.23.55.4
Current Account Balance (EUR bn)0.50.11.61.83.0
Trade Balance (EUR billion)-2.8-2.6-1.0-0.8-1.9
Exports (EUR billion)21.021.923.127.027.7
Imports (EUR billion)23.824.524.127.729.6
Exports (annual variation in %)-0.94.25.416.62.9
Imports (annual variation in %)-1.43.1-1.815.16.8
International Reserves (EUR)16.620.323.923.725.1
External Debt (% of GDP)91.874.271.465.459.2

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Bulgaria Facts

Value Change Date
Bond Yield0.400.0 %Dec 31

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