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Bulgaria Country Report - May, 2015

  • June 2015
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 21 pages

This report covers the key macroeconomic and financial releases for Bulgaria for the period from May 9, 2015 to June 10, 2015.



Moody's affirmed on June 5 Bulgaria's Baa2 government bond ratings with a stable outlook.



Bulgaria's real GDP growth was confirmed at 2% y/y in Q1, matching a flash estimate released on May 13, according to seasonally-adjusted data of the statistics office. The EBRD has raised its 2015 GDP growth forecast for the country to 1% from 0.8% expected in January.



The business sentiment improved for the fifth consecutive month in May, with the business climate indicator rising 3.1 points m/m. Bulgaria's industrial production growth decelerated to 1.5% y/y in April from 2.6% y/y in March. Also on the negative side, annual retail sales growth (at constant prices) decelerated to 0.5% in April from 0.8% in March.



Key points:

oThe consumer prices moved higher for the second month in a row in April, rising 0.5% y/y, following a 0.1% y/y increase in March

oBulgaria's consolidated budget showed a surplus of BGN1.07bn (EUR545mn) in January-April, reversing a deficit of BGN864.5mn in the same period of 2014

oThe current account reported a surplus of EUR194.6mn in the first quarter, reversing a deficit of EUR146.9mn in the same period last year

Table Of Contents

Bulgaria Country Report - May, 2015
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY4

MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW5

Moody's affirms Bulgaria at Baa2, warns against continued political volatility and inability to pass planned reforms5

Bulgaria's long-term convergence interest rate steadies at 2.36% in May5

Bulgaria's average per capita income up 0.8% y/y, expenditure up 6.8% y/y in Q16

Bulgaria's consumer confidence hits 8-year high in April6

REAL SECTOR7

1.GDP7

Bulgaria's GDP growth confirmed at 2% y/y in Q17

Bulgaria's labour productivity growth accelerates to 2.4% y/y in Q18

EBRD lifts Bulgaria's 2015 GDP growth forecast to 1%8

2. Inflation9

Bulgaria's CPI inflation speeds to 0.5% y/y in April9

Bulgaria's annual PPI deflation deepens to 0.6% in April10

Bulgaria's agricultural producer prices fall 5.1% y/y in Q110

3. Industry and Trade11

Bulgaria's business climate improves further in May11

Bulgaria's industrial output growth slows to 1.5% y/y in April11

Bulgaria's construction output decline softens to 0.5% y/y in April12

Bulgaria's retail sales growth slows to 0.5% y/y in April12

4. Labour Market13

Bulgaria's unemployment rate falls to 10.1% in April - Eurostat13

Bulgaria's unemployment rate falls to 10.7% in April - labour agency13

Bulgaria's unemployment rate steadies at 10.6% in Q1 - labour force survey14

Bulgaria's average gross monthly wage rises 8.5% y/y in March14

5. Tourism14

Bulgaria's tourism revenue grows 2.5% y/y in January-April14

Foreign tourist arrivals to Bulgaria up 3.7% y/y in April15

FISCAL SECTOR15

Bulgaria posts budget surplus of 1.3% of GDP in January-April15

Bulgaria's end-April fiscal reserve widens 86% y/y16

Bulgaria sells EUR25.6mn in 3-year T-bonds, yield edges down16

Bulgaria sells EUR25.6mn in 5-year T-notes, yield rises17

Bulgaria's government debt climbs 58% y/y in April17

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION17

Bulgarian banking sector profit rises 27.5% y/y in Q117

Bulgaria's M3 up 1.1% y/y at end-April, domestic credit shrinks 14.1% y/y18

Bulgaria's deposit, lending interest rates mixed m/m in April18

EXTERNAL SECTOR19

Bulgaria's current account swings to surplus in Q1 on smaller trade gap19

FDI in Bulgaria drop 8.4% y/y in Q119

Bulgaria's foreign trade gap shrinks 38% y/y in January-April on strong exports20

Bulgaria's gross external debt rises 6% y/y in March20

Bulgaria's FX reserves edge down 0.4% m/m in May21

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