Bulgaria

map Bulgaria
The economy lost steam throughout 2023, so that annual GDP growth is expected to come in at below 2%. The external environment worsened considerably, due to the weakening of the European economy. Manufacturing output slowed continuously and the sector ended the year in recession. After the boom of 2022, electricity production dropped by 21% in 2023, reflecting the plunge in exports. Despite the formation of a regular government, domestic policies remained unfocused, on account of the patchwork nature of the current coalition. Bulgaria incurred further delays in submitting its Recovery and Resilience Plan, which was only tentatively approved by the European Commission in the final months of 2023. Personal consumption was the main growth driver in 2023, supported by a surge in consumer credit. However, a rise in interest rates led to a deceleration in household lending. There is no sign of a reversal of the current negative trends in the short run. The continuing slowdown in exports to the main EU market will curb manufacturing activity. The growth push from personal consumption is likely to weaken, due to the ongoing credit restraint. The prospects for fixed investment will depend partly on the implementation of projects under the Recovery and Resilience Plan – and there is something of a question mark hanging over that. Overall, GDP growth is expected to be modest in 2024, at around 1.5%; meanwhile inflation should decelerate somewhat, though still remaining high, at some 7%. Performance may only improve in the coming years if the external environment turns more favourable.
        FORECAST*
Main Economic Indicators202120222023202420252026
Population, 1000 persons687866436400...
GDP, real change in %7.73.91.81.52.53.0
GDP per capita (EUR at PPP)185402202024060...
Gross industrial production, real change in %9.812.7-8.3...
Unemployment rate - LFS, in %, average5.34.34.34.03.83.6
Average gross monthly wages, EUR7989051029...
Consumer prices, % p.a.2.813.08.67.05.04.0
Fiscal balance in % of GDP-4.0-2.9-3.0-4.0-3.0-3.0
Public debt in % of GDP23.922.622.5...
Current account in % of GDP-1.7-1.4-0.30.0-0.5-1.0
FDI inflow, EUR m202931314083...
Gross external debt in % of GDP58.151.648.3...


Basic data are continuously updated.

* Forecasts are changed beginning of January, April, July and November.
See Press Conferences.

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Monthly Report No. 1/2024

Vasily Astrov, Alexandra Bykova, Rumen Dobrinsky, Selena Duraković, Meryem Gökten, Richard Grieveson, Doris Hanzl-Weiss, Gabor Hunya, Branimir Jovanović, Niko Korpar, Sebastian Leitner, Isilda Mara, Olga Pindyuk, Sandor Richter, Marko Sošić, Bernd Christoph Ströhm, Maryna Tverdostup and Adam Żurawski
wiiw Monthly Report No. 1, January 2024
50 pages including 5 Tables and 18 Figures

Details

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Executive summary

Branimir Jovanović
in: Beneath the Veneer of Calm
wiiw Forecast Report No. Autumn 2023, October 2023 , pp. I-VI
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