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Bulgaria Country Report - October, 2015

  • November 2015
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 30 pages

This report covers the key macroeconomic and financial releases for Bulgaria for the period since October 14, 2015.

Bulgaria's real GDP growth quickened to 2.9% y/y in the third quarter from an upwardly revised 2.6% y/y in the previous three months, a seasonally-adjusted flash estimate from the National Statistics Institute (NSI) showed on November 13.



On November 5, the European Commission has improved its outlook of Bulgaria's GDP growth to 1.7% for 2015 and 1.5% for 2016. Also on November 5, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has raised its forecasts of the country's GDP growth to 1.8% in 2015 and 2% in 2016.



Bulgaria's combined business climate indicator increased by one point m/m in October, after falling by 2.9 points m/m in September. The industrial production growth decelerated sharply to 0.6% y/y in September from 4.3% y/y in August. The decline in the construction output widened to 2.7% y/y in September from 0.3% y/y the month before. The retail sales (at constant prices) fell further in September, with the decline deepening to 2.5% y/y from 1.9% y/y in August.



The Bulgarian cabinet has adopted the 2016 budget bill that envisages a deficit of 2% of GDP, down from 3.3% of GDP this year.



Key points:

oThe CPI fell by 0.6% y/y in October, after edging up 0.1% y/y in September

oBulgaria's consolidated budget surplus was BGN57mn (EUR29mn) at end-October, equal to 0.1% of the projected 2015 GDP, the finance ministry said in a preliminary estimate

oThe current account surplus widened to EUR1.17bn in January-August from EUR948mn in the same period of 2014

Table Of Contents

Bulgaria Country Report - October, 2015
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY4

MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW5

Bulgaria drops to 38th position in ease of doing business ranking5

Bulgaria's consumer confidence flattens at close to 8-year high5

REAL SECTOR6

1.GDP6

Bulgaria's Q3 GDP growth speeds to 2.9% y/y, Q1 and Q2 data revised up substantially6

EC raises Bulgaria's 2015, 2016 growth forecasts6

EBRD improves Bulgaria's 2015, 2016 growth outlook7

2. Inflation8

Bulgaria returns to deflation in October on lower food, power costs8

Bulgaria's annual PPI deflation deepens to 2.1% in September9

Bulgaria's agricultural producer prices rise 6.4% y/y in Q39

3. Industry and Trade10

Bulgaria's business climate improves in October10

Bulgaria's industrial output growth brakes to 0.6% y/y in September11

Bulgaria's construction output declines 2.7% y/y in September11

Bulgaria's building permits, construction starts rise y/y in Q312

Bulgaria's retail sales contraction deepens in September12

4. Labour Market13

Bulgaria's unemployment rate falls to 9.2% in September - labour agency13

Bulgarian real gross wage growth slows to 7.8% y/y in September13

5. Tourism14

Bulgaria's accommodation revenue rises 10.8% y/y in September14

Foreign tourists to Bulgaria down 4.1% y/y in September14

FISCAL SECTOR15

Bulgaria's budget surplus melts in October15

Bulgaria raises 2015 budget gap target to 3.3% of GDP16

Revised data more than doubles Bulgaria's 2014 budget gap16

Bulgarian government sets 2016 budget deficit target at 2% of GDP17

Bulgaria's fiscal reserve shrinks 9.1% in September17

IMF urges Bulgaria to contain spending, cut debt18

Bulgaria to auction EUR36mn of 10-year T-bonds on November 1618

Bulgaria raises below-target EUR25mn at 5-year T-bond auction as yields climb further19

Bulgaria sells EUR77mn of 3-year T-notes, yield falls19

Bulgaria raises below-target EUR25mn at 10-year T-bond auction as yields stay uncomfortably high19

Bulgaria's government debt to GDP ratio rises 8.1pp y/y in Q2, highest gain in EU20

Bulgaria's government debt growth slows to 22.4% y/y in September20

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION21

Bulgarian banking sector profit rises 30% y/y in January-September21

Oliver Wyman appeals tender for review of Bulgarian banking system's asset quality21

Bulgaria's central bank under pressure as official report claims it knew Corpbank was close to collapse22

Bulgaria's M3 growth slows in September, domestic credit contraction moderates25

Bulgaria's deposit, lending interest rates mixed in September26

EXTERNAL SECTOR27

Bulgaria's current account surplus widens 24% y/y in January-August27

FDI into Bulgaria drop 12% y/y in January-August27

Bulgaria's foreign trade deficit halves y/y in January-September28

Bulgaria's gross external debt drops 8.2% y/y in August29

Bulgaria's FX reserves rise 0.8% in October29

POLITICS30

Bulgaria's ruling GERB strengthens positions after local elections second tour30





Table 1 GDP, % y/y real, seasonally-adjusted6

Table 2 EC autumn forecast for Bulgaria7

Table 3 GDP growth forecasts, %8

Table 4 CPI, % y/y8

Table 5 Domestic market PPI, % y/y9

Table 6 Bulgaria consolidated budget, BGNmn15

Table 7 Consolidated budget, % of GDP16

Table 8 Fiscal reserve, BGNmn18

Table 9 Government debt, EURmn21

Table 10 Money supply, domestic credit, loans26

Table 11 Current account, EURmn27

Table 12 Foreign trade, FOB/FOB, BGNmn28

Table 13 Gross external debt, EURmn29





Figure 1 Bulgaria CPI, PPI9

Figure 2 Industrial output11

Figure 3 Construction output12

Figure 4 Retail sales13

Figure 5 Average interest rates on new euro loans26

Figure 6 Foreign trade29

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