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Bulgaria Economic Forecast

Bulgaria Economic Outlook

March 10, 2020

Growth moderated somewhat in the fourth quarter of last year, restrained by falling fixed investment amid faltering external demand. However, consumer spending gained some steam on the back of strong wage growth and labor market conditions, cushioning the slowdown. The economy seems to be losing further traction in the first quarter of this year, on protracted weakness in the EU and due to the coronavirus outbreak. Business confidence fell in February, while the unemployment rate rose in the previous month, suggesting cooling dynamics. In other news, in late February the European Commission praised the structural reforms and measures to reduce macroeconomic imbalances, and encouraged the government to further strengthen the competitiveness of its economy. Earlier in the month, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov announced the country’s application to join the pre-euro exchange-rate mechanism (ERM-II) will be examined next July.

Bulgaria Economic Growth

Momentum should wane this year, as less job gains weigh on consumer spending. However, private consumption will remain the main driver of growth, underpinned by wage hikes, while investment activity benefits from stronger EU funds absorption and cushions the slowdown. A frail EU economy, coupled with the prolonged impact of Covid-19, cloud the outlook. FocusEconomics panelists project growth of 3.0% in 2020, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 2.9% 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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