EBRD raises Bulgaria's GDP growth forecast by 0.2 points to 1.9% in 2013.

By bne IntelliNews January 22, 2013
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) raised its growth forecast for Bulgaria for 2013 to 1.9% from 1.7% in October 2012, although it lowered the overall projection for the SEE region. Bulgaria's GDP growth this year is thus expected to be above the SEE weighted average of 1.5% (down from 1.6%). The new outlook is in line with the government's forecast for 1.9% GDP growth this year. The projection is included in the latest edition of the bank's Regional Economic Prospects report. Bulgaria outperformed all its regional peers, except for Albania, in 2012, posting a 1.1% annual growth, revised downwards by 0.1 point. In 2013, Bulgaria is expected to be the fourth fastest growing economy in SEE, following Kosovo, Serbia and Albania. The country has significant fiscal and monetary buffers to withstand further shocks, the EBRD said but weak export demand will keep 2013 economic growth modest. The SEE region performed worse than expected in Q3 2012, indicating that it remains under continued external pressures from Eurozone countries. Recent progress in policy makers actions, including the ECB announcement of Outright Market Transactions (OMT), banking and fiscal union, have calmed down the markets, which resulted in decreased pressure on parent banks and lower speed of cross-border deleveraging.
EBRD Regional Economic Prospects, January 2013, annual growth rate, % Current forecast Change from previous forecast
2012 2013 2012 2013
South-eastern Europe AVERAGE 0.1 1.5 -0.3 -0.1
Albania 1.8 2 1.2 0.7
Bosnia and Herzegovina -0.5 0.6 -0.6 0.2
Bulgaria 1.1 1.9 -0.1 0.2
Macedonia -0.5 1.8 -0.8 -0.2
Kosovo 2.5 3 - -
Montenegro 0.3 0.8 0 0
Romania 0.3 1.4 -0.2 -0.5
Serbia -1.9 2.1 -1.2 1
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