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Bulgaria Country Report - August, 2016

  • September 2016
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 36 pages

This report covers the key economic, financial and political releases for Bulgaria for the period August 20 - September 19.

Bulgaria's real GDP growth accelerated to 3% y/y in the second quarter of 2016 from 2.9% y/y in the previous three months, according to seasonally-adjusted statistics office data that confirmed an August 12 flash estimate.

Following a visit to the country, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission expects economic growth of 3% in 2016, revising up an IMF forecast of 2.3% growth made in April.

Bulgaria's overall business climate indicator was approximately flat m/m in August, after dropping 0.9 points m/m in July. The industrial production increased by 2.3% y/y in July, decelerating from a 4% y/y rise in June. The construction output fell 11.8% y/y in July, after decreasing by 13% y/y the month before. Annual growth of retail sales (at constant prices) decelerated to 2.2% in July from 5.4% in June.

Key points:

oThe CPI declined by 0.3% y/y in August, after edging down 0.2% y/y in July

oBulgaria reported a consolidated budget surplus of BGN3.29bn (EUR1.68bn) in January-August, equal to around 3.7% of projected GDP, preliminary data from the finance ministry showed

oThe country reported a current account surplus of EUR1.29bn in the first seven months of 2016, up from a surplus of EUR380.5mn in the same period of 2015

Table Of Contents

Bulgaria Country Report - August, 2016


EC provides EUR108mn emergency funding to Bulgaria for border and migration management6

Spat erupts over Bulgaria's candidate for UN Secretary General6

Bulgaria's Reformist Bloc confirms Traykov as its presidential candidate7

Bulgaria will not accept migrants from EU, PM Borissov says8

US fighters to conduct joint air policing with Bulgarian planes on September 9-168


IMF mission says Bulgarian economy shows short-term resilience, faces long-term challenges9

Bulgaria's business confidence unchanged m/m in August11


4.1 GDP, forecasts11

Bulgaria's GDP growth slightly speeds to 3% y/y in Q211

Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry projects 3% GDP growth in 201612

4.2 Inflation13

4.2.1 Consumer price index13

Bulgaria's CPI deflation deepens to 0.3% y/y in August13

4.2.2 Producer price index14

Bulgaria's annual PPI deflation eases to 3.8% in July14

Bulgaria's agricultural producer prices drop 0.8% y/y in Q214

4.3 Industry and Trade15

4.3.1 Industrial production15

Bulgaria's industrial production growth slows to 2.3% y/y in July15

4.3.2 Construction volume16

Bulgaria's construction output decline softens to 11.8% y/y in July16

4.4 Investment16

Gross fixed capital formation edges down y/y in Q216

4.5 Labour and retail17

4.5.1 Unemployment and wages17

Bulgaria's unemployment rate drops to 8% in August, labour agency data show17

Bulgaria's labour productivity growth slows in Q217

Bulgaria's labour cost growth decelerates to 7.3% y/y in Q217

4.5.2 Retail18

Bulgaria's retail sales growth decelerates to 2.2% y/y in July18


5.1 Balance of payments and current account19

Bulgaria's current account surplus jumps 3.4 times y/y in January-July19

5.2 Trade19

Bulgaria's foreign trade deficit narrows 48% y/y in January-July19

5.3 Foreign direct investment (FDI)20

FDI in Bulgaria drops 14.8% y/y in January-July20

5.4 External debt21

Bulgaria's gross external debt drops 2% y/y at end-June21

5.5 Foreign reserves22

Bulgaria's foreign reserves rise 0.9% in August22


6.1 Budget22

Bulgaria reports budget surplus of 3.7% of GDP in January-August22

Bulgaria's fiscal reserve rises 2.6% in July23

Bulgaria to lend to state-owned NEK for payment of Belene nuclear project debt24

6.2 Government debt25

Bulgaria's central government debt edges up 0.1% m/m at end-July25


Bulgarian lev depreciates 1.4% against US dollar over past month25


8.1 Banking system26

Bulgarian banking sector profit rises 48% y/y in January-July26

Bulgaria's M3 growth slows, non-government loans flat y/y in July26

Bulgaria's deposit interest rates mostly up m/m, lending rates mixed in July27

Eight candidates interested in buying Bulgarian Corpbank subsidiary Bank Victoria28

Bulgaria's c-bank transposes EU legislation on fees related to payment accounts29

Assets of Bulgarian resident investment funds rise 1.4% y/y at end-June29

8.2 Interest rates and bond market29

Bulgaria's long-term convergence interest rate drops to all-time low in August29

8.3 Stock Market30

Bulgarian bourse index SOFIX rises 2.2% in past month30

8.4 Credit ratings30

No rating actions on Bulgaria over past month30


Bulgaria's accommodation revenue rises 18% y/y in July31

Foreign tourists in Bulgaria up 20.6% y/y in July31

Number of Bulgarian residents making tourist trips rises 10.3% y/y in Q231

Bulgaria seeks support from EU, Russia for EUR1.5bn natural gas hub32

New car sales in Bulgaria rise 26.3% y/y in August33

Bulgaria completes EUR52mn expansion of key Sofia ring road section33

Bulgaria calls tender for 16.3 km section of Hemus motorway34


SandP upgrades Bulgaria's Vivacom to B+ from B-34

Serbia postpones decision on extradition of Bulgarian tycoon Vassilev until 201735

Table 1 GDP, % y/y real, sa12

Table 2 CPI, % y/y13

Table 3 Domestic market PPI, % y/y14

Table 4 Current account, EUR mn19

Table 5 Foreign trade, FOB/FOB, BGN mn20

Table 6 Gross external debt, EUR mn22

Table 7 Consolidated budget, BGN mn23

Table 8 Fiscal reserve, BGN mn24

Table 9 Central government debt, EUR mn25

Table 10 Money supply, domestic credit, loans27

Figure 1 Bulgaria CPI, % y/y13

Figure 2 Domestic market PPI, % y/y14

Figure 3 Industrial output16

Figure 4 Construction output16

Figure 5 Retail sales18

Figure 6 FDI in Bulgaria, EUR mn21

Figure 7 Gross external debt, EUR mn21

Figure 8 Foreign reserves22

Figure 9 Fiscal reserve, BGN mn24

Figure 10 Daily exchange rate, BGN per 1$25

Figure 11 Average interest rates on new euro loans28

Figure 12 Long-term convergence interest rate30

Figure 13 SOFIX30

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