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Bulgaria Country Report - May, 2016

  • June 2016
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 28 pages

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



The country's economy expanded by 2.9% y/y in Q1, the statistics office said on June 7, confirming its flash estimate. The World Bank has left unchanged its 2016 GDP growth forecast for Bulgaria at 2.2%, the latest edition of the bank's Global Economic Prospects report showed.



S&P Global Ratings said on June 3 that it has affirmed its BB+/B long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Bulgaria with a stable outlook. Also on June 3, Fitch Ratings has affirmed Bulgaria's long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at BBB- and BBB, respectively, with stable outlooks.



Bulgaria's business confidence improved m/m in May. The industrial production growth cooled to 2.5% y/y in April from 2.6% y/y in March. The construction output fell 10.4% y/y in April, deteriorating from an 8.8% y/y decrease the month before. Retail sales (at constant prices) climbed 5.4% y/y in April, slowing down from a 6.3% y/y increase in March.





Key points:

oThe CPI decreased by 2% y/y in May, after dropping by 2.2% y/y in April

oBulgaria reported a consolidated budget surplus of BGN2.68bn (EUR1.37bn) in January-May, equal to some 3% of projected GDP, preliminary data from the finance ministry showed

oThe country reported a current account surplus of EUR185.1mn in the first quarter of 2016, up from a surplus of EUR113.7mn Q1 2015

Table Of Contents

Bulgaria Country Report - May, 2016
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY4

MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW5

Bulgaria needs economic, structural reforms, ECB says5

EC recommends fiscal adjustment, finalising of bank stress tests in Bulgaria5

SandP affirms Bulgaria's ratings at BB+/B with stable outlook6

Fitch affirms Bulgaria at BBB- with stable outlook7

Bulgaria's long-term convergence interest rate declines to 2.37% in May7

REAL SECTOR8

1.GDP8

Bulgaria's Q1 GDP growth confirmed at 2.9% y/y8

World Bank keeps Bulgaria's 2016 GDP growth forecast at 2.2%9

2. Inflation9

Bulgaria's CPI deflation eases to 2% y/y in May9

Bulgaria's annual PPI deflation stays at 4.1% in April10

Bulgaria's agricultural producer prices drop 5% y/y in Q111

3. Industry and Trade11

Bulgaria's business climate improves in May11

Bulgaria's industrial production growth slows to 2.5% y/y in April12

Bulgaria's construction output decline worsens to 10.4% y/y in April12

Bulgaria's retail sales growth decelerates to 5.4% y/y in April13

4. Labour Market14

Bulgaria's unemployment rate drops to 8.7% in May, labour agency says14

5. Tourism14

Bulgaria's accommodation revenue rises 12.1% y/y in April14

Foreign tourists in Bulgaria up 41.5% y/y in April14

FISCAL SECTOR15

Bulgaria reports budget surplus of 3% of GDP in January-May15

Bulgaria launches concession tender for Sofia Airport16

Bulgarian parliament approves EUR1.2bn army modernisation16

Bulgaria's parliament adopts legislation on financial recovery of municipalities17

Bulgaria's fiscal reserve rises 3.8% in April17

Bulgaria's government debt rises 8.9% y/y at end-April18

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION19

Bulgarian banking sector profit rises 17.3% y/y in January-April19

Fitch affirms three Bulgarian banks, one leasing company19

Belgrade court approves extradition of Corpbank majority shareholder to Bulgaria19

Bulgaria's central bank approves acquisition of TBI Bank20

Bulgaria's M3 growth speeds up, domestic credit contraction narrows in April21

Bulgaria's deposit interest rates mostly up m/m, lending rates mixed in April22

Assets of Bulgarian resident investment funds drop 6.9% y/y to EUR408.9mn at end-March22

EXTERNAL SECTOR23

Bulgaria's current account surplus widens 62.7% y/y in Q123

FDI in Bulgaria drops 36.6% y/y in Q124

Bulgaria's 4-mo foreign trade deficit narrows 72.6% y/y25

Bulgaria's gross external debt drops 11.7% y/y at end-March25

Bulgaria's foreign reserves rise 0.5% in May26

POLITICS27

Bulgarian deputy transport minister resigns after being charged over 2007 case27

Bulgarian President Plevneliev says will not run for second term in 2016 elections28

Bulgarian parliament rejects presidential veto on electoral code amendments28



Table 1 GDP, % y/y real, sa9

Table 2 CPI, % y/y10

Table 3 Domestic market PPI, % y/y11

Table 4 Consolidated budget, BGN mn16

Table 5 Fiscal reserve, BGN mn17

Table 6 Government debt, EUR mn18

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 Long-term convergence interest rate8

Figure 2 Bulgaria CPI, % y/y10

Figure 3 Domestic market PPI, % y/y11

Figure 4 Industrial output12

Figure 5 Construction output13

Figure 6 Retail sales13

Figure 7 Fiscal reserve, BGN mn18

Figure 8 Government debt18

Figure 9 Average interest rates on new euro loans22

Figure 10 FDI in Bulgaria, EUR mn24

Figure 11 Gross external debt, EUR mn26

Figure 12 Foreign reserves27

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