Bulgaria Country Report - February, 2016

March 15, 2016

This report covers the key macroeconomic, financial and political releases for Bulgaria for the period since February 16, 2016.

Bulgaria’s GDP increased by a real 3% in 2015, accelerating from a 1.6% rise in 2014. The 2015 reading is the highest growth since 2008.

On March 8, the European Commission adopted a Communication, in which it found that the country is experiencing excessive macroeconomic imbalances.

Bulgaria's business confidence strengthened m/m for a second consecutive month in February, with the total business climate indicator increasing 0.5 points, after a 0.6 point rise in January. The industrial production growth decelerated to 3% y/y in January from 3.5% y/y in December. The construction output went down 10.7% y/y in January, following a 2.1% y/y decline the month before. Retail sales (at constant prices) increased by 1.3% y/y in January, decelerating from a 1.7% y/y rise in December.

Key points:
• The CPI decreased by 0.5% y/y in February, after being flat y/y in January
• Bulgaria reported a consolidated budget surplus of BGN961mn (€491.4mn) in January and February, equal to some 1.1% of projected GDP, preliminary data from the finance ministry showed
• Bulgaria issued on March 14 two Eurobond tranches worth a combined €1.994bn
• The current account surplus increased by 9.4% to €541.6mn in 2015

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