Bulgaria Country Report - May, 2016

June 16, 2016

This report covers the key macroeconomic, financial and political releases for Bulgaria for the period since May 17, 2016.

The country’s economy expanded by 2.9% y/y in Q1, the statistics office said on June 7, confirming its flash estimate. The World Bank has left unchanged its 2016 GDP growth forecast for Bulgaria at 2.2%, the latest edition of the bank's Global Economic Prospects report showed.

S&P Global Ratings said on June 3 that it has affirmed its BB+/B long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Bulgaria with a stable outlook. Also on June 3, Fitch Ratings has affirmed Bulgaria's long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at BBB- and BBB, respectively, with stable outlooks.

Bulgaria's business confidence improved m/m in May. The industrial production growth cooled to 2.5% y/y in April from 2.6% y/y in March. The construction output fell 10.4% y/y in April, deteriorating from an 8.8% y/y decrease the month before. Retail sales (at constant prices) climbed 5.4% y/y in April, slowing down from a 6.3% y/y increase in March.


Key points:
• The CPI decreased by 2% y/y in May, after dropping by 2.2% y/y in April
• Bulgaria reported a consolidated budget surplus of BGN2.68bn (€1.37bn) in January-May, equal to some 3% of projected GDP, preliminary data from the finance ministry showed
• The country reported a current account surplus of €185.1mn in the first quarter of 2016, up from a surplus of €113.7mn Q1 2015


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