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Bulgaria Country Report - April, 2016

  • May 2016
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 31 pages

This report covers the key macroeconomic, financial and political releases for Bulgaria for the period since April 17, 2016.



Bulgaria's real GDP growth decelerated to 2.9% y/y in the first quarter of 2016 from 3% y/y in the previous three months, a seasonally-adjusted statistics office flash estimate showed on May 13.



The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) revised upwards Bulgaria's 2016 GDP growth forecast to 2.5% from 2% projected in November. In the spring edition of its European economic forecast, the European Commission (EC) raised its forecasts for Bulgaria's GDP growth in both 2016 and 2017, to 2% and 2.4%, respectively, from 1.5% and 2% projected in February.



Bulgaria's consumer sentiment improved during the three months to April, with the confidence indicator rising 1.8 points to -26.9, its best level since April 2007.



Bulgaria's business confidence deteriorated m/m in April. The industrial production growth accelerated to 3% y/y in March from 2.7% y/y in February. The construction output went down 9.3% y/y in March, after decreasing by revised 5.2% y/y the month before. Retail sales (at constant prices) climbed 6.2% y/y in March, speeding up from a 3.3% y/y rise in February.





Key points:

oThe CPI decreased by 2.2% y/y in April after dropping by 1.5% y/y in March

oBulgaria reported a consolidated budget surplus of BGN2.35bn (EUR1.2bn) in January-April, equal to some 2.6% of projected GDP, preliminary data from the finance ministry showed

oThe country reported a current account surplus of EUR168.3mn in January and February, reversing a deficit of EUR318.1mn in the first two months of 2015

Table Of Contents

Bulgaria Country Report - April, 2016
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY5

MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW6

Bulgaria's consumer confidence reaches 9-year high in April6

Bulgaria's average per capita income rises 4.2% y/y in Q16

Bulgaria's long-term convergence interest rate declines to 2.44% in April7

REAL SECTOR7

1.GDP7

Bulgaria's GDP growth slows slightly to 2.9% y/y in Q1, flash estimate shows7

EBRD raises Bulgaria's 2016 GDP growth forecast to 2.5%8

EC raises Bulgaria's 2016, 2017 GDP growth forecasts9

2. Inflation9

Bulgaria's CPI deflation deepens to 2.2% y/y in April9

Bulgaria's annual PPI deflation deepens to 4.1% in March10

3. Industry and Trade11

Bulgaria's business climate worsens in April11

Bulgaria's industrial production growth speeds up to 3% y/y in March12

Bulgaria's construction output drops 9.3% y/y in March12

Bulgaria's building permits, new constructions data largely positive in Q113

Bulgaria's retail sales growth accelerates to 6.2% y/y in March13

4. Labour Market14

Bulgaria's unemployment rate drops to 9.3% in April, labour agency says14

Bulgaria's unemployment rate rises q/q to 8.6% in Q1, labour force survey shows14

Bulgarian real gross wage growth at 9.4% y/y in February, March15

5. Tourism16

Bulgaria's accommodation revenue rises 8.8% y/y in March16

Foreign tourists in Bulgaria up 10.9% y/y in March16

FISCAL SECTOR17

Bulgaria reports budget surplus of 2.6% of GDP in January-April17

Bulgaria's fiscal reserve rises 34% in March17

Bulgaria sells EUR51.1mn of 10.5-year T-bonds, yield drops18

Bulgaria's government debt rises 9% y/y at end-March18

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION19

Bulgarian banking sector profit rises 7% y/y in Q119

Fitch affirms Bulgaria's FIBank at B- with stable outlook20

Around EUR400mn could be recovered at Bulgaria's bankrupt Corpbank, forensic firm estimates20

Bulgaria's M3 growth slows, domestic credit contraction deepens in March21

Bulgaria's deposit interest rates down m/m, lending rates mixed in March22

Athens bourse applies to join regional platform SEE Link22

EXTERNAL SECTOR23

Bulgaria reports current account surplus of EUR168.3mn in January-February23

FDI in Bulgaria drops 83.4% y/y in January-February24

Bulgaria's foreign trade deficit narrows 76% y/y in Q125

Bulgaria's gross external debt drops 12.8% y/y at end-February25

Bulgaria's foreign reserves rise 1.3% in April26

POLITICS27

Bulgarian parliamentary committee fails to approve new anti-corruption bill27

Bulgarian parliament approves plans for referendum initiated by popular TV show28

Bulgaria's ruling GERB rules out early elections as ABV quits government29

Bulgarian president vetoes amendments to electoral code30

Bulgarian parliament approves mandatory voting31



Table 1 GDP, % y/y real (flash estimate)8

Table 2 European Commission forecast for Bulgaria9

Table 3 CPI, % y/y10

Table 4 Domestic market PPI, % y/y11

Table 5 Fiscal reserve, BGN mn18

Table 6 Government debt, EUR mn19

Table 7 Money supply, domestic credit, loans22

Table 8 Current account, EUR mn24

Table 9 Foreign trade, FOB/FOB, BGN mn25

Table 10 Gross external debt, EURmn26





Figure 1 Consumer confidence indicator6

Figure 2 Long-term convergence interest rate7

Figure 3 GDP growth, %8

Figure 4 Bulgaria CPI, % y/y10

Figure 5 Domestic market PPI, % y/y11

Figure 6 Industrial output12

Figure 7 Construction output13

Figure 8 Retail sales14

Figure 9 Unemployment rate15

Figure 10 Fiscal reserve, BGN mn18

Figure 11 Government debt19

Figure 12 Average interest rates on new euro loans22

Figure 13 FDI in Bulgaria, EUR mn24

Figure 14 Gross external debt, EUR mn26

Figure 15 Foreign reserves27

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