Bulgaria’s Jan-May current account swings into surplus on strong export growth

By bne IntelliNews July 20, 2015

Bulgaria's current account balance reported a surplus of €206.2mn in January-May, reversing a deficit of €472.9mn in the same period last year, mainly on the back of solid export growth that helped narrow the trade gap, preliminary central bank data showed. The five-month surplus is equal to 0.5% of GDP.

The merchandise trade deficit shrank 34.2% y/y to €1.07bn in the first five months of the year as exports rose 13.4% y/y to €9.02bn and imports increased 5.3% y/y to €10.1bn. In addition, the secondary income surplus went up 9.1% y/y to €1.02bn and the services surplus climbed 9.4% y/y to €590.8mn. On the other hand, the primary income deficit widened by 4.5% y/y to €328.8mn.

In May alone, the current account balance was a surplus of €51.3mn, compares to a deficit of €36.9mn in May 2014.

In its latest World Economic Outlook report from April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected a current account surplus of 0.2% of GDP for 2015, reversing into a 0.8% deficit in 2016. The European Commission expects a surplus of 1.3% of GDP this year, edging down to 1.2% next year.

Current Account, €mn        
  2014   2015  
  May Jan-May May Jan-May
Current Account -37 -473 51 206
- Credit 2,481 11,875 2,610 13,111
- Debit 2,517 12,348 2,559 12,904
Goods and Services -97 -1,091 -41 -483
- Credit 2,250 10,256 2,308 11,323
- Debit 2,347 11,348 2,349 11,806
Goods -249 -1,631 -145 -1,074
- Credit 1,707 7,960 1,921 9,025
- Debit 1,956 9,592 2,065 10,099
Services 152 540 104 591
- Credit 543 2,296 388 2,298
- Debit 391 1,756 284 1,707
Primary Income -18 -315 -48 -329
Secondary Income 78 933 140 1,018
Source: Central bank        

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