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Bulgaria Country Report - March, 2016

  • April 2016
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 24 pages

This report covers the key macroeconomic, financial and political releases for Bulgaria for the period since March 15, 2016.



In its April World Economic Outlook (WEO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its forecast for Bulgaria's 2016 real GDP growth to 2.3% from 1.9% projected in October. According to the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia economic update, the country's GDP growth is expected to slow down to 2.2% in 2016 from 3.0% last year.



Bulgaria's finance ministry has projected that economic growth will slow down to 2.1% in 2016 from 3.0% last year, but expects it to accelerate to 2.5% in 2017.



Bulgaria's business confidence strengthened m/m for a third consecutive month in March. The industrial production growth decelerated to 2.1% y/y in February from 2.2% y/y in January. The construction output went down 1.9% y/y in February, cooling from a revised 10.4% annual decline the previous month. Retail sales (at constant prices) increased by 3.1% y/y in February, speeding up from a 1.3% y/y rise in January.





Key points:

oThe CPI decreased by 1.5% y/y in March after dropping by 0.5% y/y in February

oBulgaria reported a consolidated budget surplus of BGN1.86bn (EUR949mn) in Q1, equal to some 2.1% of projected GDP, preliminary data from the finance ministry showed

oThe country reported a current account surplus of EUR165.5mn in January, reversing a deficit of EUR108.4mn in January 2015

Table Of Contents

Bulgaria Country Report - March, 2016
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY4

MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW5

Bulgaria's long-term convergence interest rate declines to 2.66% in March5

REAL SECTOR5

1.GDP5

IMF lifts Bulgaria's 2016 GDP growth forecast to 2.3%5

Bulgaria's economic growth to slow to 2.2% in 2016, World Bank says6

Bulgaria's finmin expects 2016 economic growth to cool to 2.1%6

2. Inflation7

Bulgaria's CPI deflation deepens to 1.5% y/y in March7

Bulgaria's annual PPI deflation deepens to 4% in February8

3. Industry and Trade9

Bulgaria's business climate improves in March9

Bulgaria's industrial production growth slows to 2.1% y/y in February9

Bulgaria's construction output drops 1.9% y/y in February10

Bulgaria's retail sales growth accelerates to 3.1% y/y in February10

4. Labour Market11

Bulgaria's unemployment rate drops to 9.9% in March, labour agency says11

Bulgaria's labour cost growth slows to 5.8% y/y in Q411

5. Tourism12

Bulgaria's accommodation revenue rises 16.2% y/y in February12

Foreign tourists in Bulgaria up 20.8% y/y in February12

FISCAL SECTOR13

Bulgaria reports budget surplus of 2.1% of GDP in Q113

Bulgaria's fiscal reserve drops 3.6% in February14

Bulgaria's government debt rises 8.9% y/y at end-February15

Bulgaria's cabinet approves project for acquisition of fighters, patrol ships15

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION16

Bulgarian banking sector profit flat y/y in January-February16

Bulgarian banking system's end-2015 capital adequacy at 22.18%, central bank says16

Bulgarian parliament declassifies consultant's report on bankrupt Corpbank16

Corpbank majority owner sues Bulgaria with European court17

EBRD, Bulgarian Deposit Insurance Fund sign EUR300mn loan agreement18

Bulgaria's M3 growth speeds, domestic credit contraction softens in February19

Bulgaria's deposit, lending interest rates mixed in February19

EXTERNAL SECTOR20

Bulgaria's current account turns to surplus in January20

FDI in Bulgaria drops 86.1% y/y in January21

Bulgaria reports foreign trade surplus of EUR42.4mn in January-February21

Bulgaria's gross external debt drops 12.9% y/y at end-January22

Bulgaria's foreign reserves rise 8.2% in March23

POLITICS24

Bulgarian parliament adopts judiciary reform amendments in second reading24



Table 1 World Bank forecast for Bulgaria6

Table 2 CPI, % y/y8

Table 3 Domestic market PPI, % y/y9

Table 4 Bulgaria consolidated budget, BGN mn14

Table 5 Fiscal reserve, BGN mn14

Table 6 Government debt, EUR mn15

Table 7 Money supply, domestic credit, loans19

Table 8 Current account, EUR mn21

Table 9 Foreign trade, FOB/FOB, BGN mn22

Table 10 Gross external debt, EURmn23





Figure 1 Long-term convergence interest rate5

Figure 2 Bulgaria CPI, % y/y7

Figure 3 Domestic market PPI, % y/y8

Figure 4 Industrial output10

Figure 5 Construction output10

Figure 6 Retail sales11

Figure 7 Fiscal reserve, BGN mn14

Figure 8 Average interest rates on new euro loans20

Figure 9 FDI in Bulgaria, EUR mn21

Figure 10 Foreign trade22

Figure 11 Gross external debt, EUR mn23

Figure 12 Foreign reserves24

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