Bulgaria's current account surplus melts away in 2014

By bne IntelliNews February 16, 2015

Bulgaria’s current account (CA) surplus narrowed by 98% to only €18.8mn in 2014 due to dropping current transfers and widening merchandise trade deficit, preliminary central bank data showed. The CA surplus is equal to just 0.04% of GDP, down from 2.1% of GDP in 2013.

The net inflow on the current transfers account decreased by 32.3% to €1.61bn last year. In addition, the merchandise trade gap rose 19.4% to €2.9bn as exports edged down 0.7% to €22.11bn, while imports grew 1.2% to €25.01bn. The annual decline in exports was driven mainly by lower sales of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials to non-EU countries, which went down 13.3% to €2.2bn, the statistics office said earlier in February.

On the other hand, the net inflow on the services account expanded by 10.9% to €2.51bn in 2014. Also on the positive side, the net outflow on the income account narrowed 12% to €1.2bn.

The central bank’s reserve assets grew by €1.91bn in 2014, following a decrease by €599.2mn in 2013.

Balance of payments, €mn    
  2013 2014
A. Current Account 848 19
Balance on Goods -2,430 -2,902
- Exports 22,271 22,106
- Imports -24,701 -25,009
Balance on Services 2,263 2,511
Balance on Income -1,368 -1,203
Current transfers, net  2,383 1,614
B. Capital Account 468 1,012
C. Financial Account, incl.: -1,476 1,955
Direct investment, net 1,094 996
D. Net Errors and Omissions -439 -1,076
OVERALL BALANCE -599 1,909
Source: Central bank    

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