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Bulgaria Country Report - February, 2015

  • March 2015
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 20 pages

This report covers the key macroeconomic and financial releases as well as the political events from Bulgaria for the period from February 5, 2015 to March 6, 2015.



Bulgaria's GDP increased by a real 1.7% in 2014, accelerating from a 1.1% growth in 2013. In its Winter Forecast published on February 5, the EC said that Bulgaria's growth will decelerate to 0.8% this year.



Bulgaria's unemployment rate dropped by 2.4pp y/y to 10.6% in Q4. Also on the positive side, consumer sentiment improved in January as Bulgarians became less pessimistic about their financial situation and the general economic conditions in the next 12 months.



Bulgaria's parliament gave the green light to an EUR8bn Global Medium Term Note (GMTN) programme to be managed by Citigroup, HSBC, Societe Generale and Unicredit Bank. The new debt will be used for repaying maturing obligations and for financing the budget deficits in 2015-2017. A three-day Eurobond roadshow will be launched on March 16, Reuters reported.



Key points:



oThe overall business climate indicator rose by 1.2 points m/m in February, improving for second consecutive month



oConsumer prices fell 1% y/y in January, after contracting by 0.9% y/y in December



oBulgaria reported a small budget surplus of BGN69.1mn (EUR35.3mn) in January



oThe current account surplus narrowed by 98% to only EUR18.8mn in 2014



oFDI in Bulgaria fell 7.3% to EUR1.18bn in 2014

Table Of Contents

Bulgaria Country Report - February, 2015
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY4

MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW5

EC raises Bulgaria's 2015 growth forecast to 0.8%5

EC moves to classify Bulgaria's macroeconomic imbalances as excessive5

Bulgaria's long-term convergence interest rate drops to 2.52% in February6

Bulgaria's average per capita income flat, expenditure up 3.1% y/y in Q4 - household survey6

REAL SECTOR7

1.GDP7

Bulgaria's GDP grows 1.7% in 20147

2. Inflation7

Bulgaria's CPI deflation deepens to 1% y/y in January on dropping fuel prices7

Bulgaria's industrial PPI drops 1.9% y/y in January8

Bulgaria's agricultural producer prices fall 0.8% y/y in Q49

3. Industry and Trade9

Bulgaria's business climate improves further in February9

Bulgarian consumer confidence improves in January10

Bulgaria's industrial output growth slows to 0.9% y/y in December10

Bulgaria's construction output up 2.3% y/y in December10

Bulgaria's retail sales growth quickens to 6.4% y/y in December11

4. Labour Market11

Bulgaria's unemployment rate falls y/y to 11.1% in January - labour agency11

Bulgaria's unemployment rate drops to 10.6% in Q412

Bulgaria's average gross monthly wage rises 2.2% y/y in December12

Bulgaria's labour productivity growth accelerates to 1.5% y/y in Q413

5. Tourism13

Foreign tourist arrivals to Bulgaria up 6.9% y/y in January13

Bulgaria's revenue from foreign tourist overnights up 8.6% in 201413

FISCAL SECTOR14

Bulgaria reports EUR35mn budget surplus in January14

Bulgaria's fiscal reserve up 7.6% y/y at end-January14

Bulgaria to hold Eurobond roadshow March 16-18 - report15

Bulgaria's public debt drops 5.9% m/m to EUR10.6bn at end-January15

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION15

Bulgarian banking sector assets recover to nearly flat y/y in January15

Bulgaria's deposit interest rates fall m/m in January, lending rates mixed16

Bulgaria's M3 up 2% y/y at end-January, domestic credit shrinks 7.1% y/y16

Fitch affirms Bulgarian Development Bank at BBB- with stable outlook17

EXTERNAL SECTOR18

Bulgaria's current account surplus melts away in 201418

FDI in Bulgaria drop 7.3% in 201418

Bulgaria's foreign trade gap widens 19.4% in 201419

Bulgaria's gross external debt rises 7.1% in 201419

Bulgaria's FX reserves rise 9.8% m/m in February20

POLITICS20

Bulgarian PM Borissov nominates deputy PM Bachvarova for new interior minister20

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