Bulgaria Country Report - September, 2016

October 22, 2016

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

The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) has raised its GDP growth forecast for this year to 2.9% from the 1.9% expected in the spring. Earlier in October, in its autumn macroeconomic forecast the Bulgarian ministry of finance revised upwards its projection for 2016 real GDP growth to 2.6%, from 2.1% expected in the spring macroeconomic forecast. In the October edition of its World Economic Outlook (WEO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its projection for Bulgaria’s 2016 GDP growth to 3% from 2.3% forecast in April.

The statistics office now reports Bulgaria’s real GDP growth at 3.6% in 2015, up from 3% reported previously. GDP data for the first and second quarters of 2016 have been revised upwards as well, now indicating growth of 3.6% y/y and 3.5% y/y, respectively.

Bulgaria's overall business climate indicator was flat m/m for the second consecutive month in September. The industrial production increased by 2.6% y/y in August, accelerating from a 2.3% y/y rise in July. The construction output fell 10.2% y/y in August, after decreasing by 11.7% y/y in July. Annual growth of retail sales (at constant prices) accelerated to 5.4% in August from 2.3% July.

Key points:
• The CPI declined by 0.6% y/y in September, after dropping 0.3% y/y in August
• Bulgaria reported a consolidated budget surplus of BGN3.39bn (€1.73bn) in January-September 2016, equal to around 3.8% of projected GDP, preliminary data from the finance ministry showed
• The country reported a current account surplus of €1.91bn in the first eight months of 2016, up from a surplus of €805.5mn in the same period of 2015

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