November 3 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria’s economic growth will be zero or 0.5% next year under an optimistic scenario, while a 2.0% contraction can be expected under a pessimistic scenario, central bank governor Ivan Iskrov said on Tuesday.
The central bank expects that Bulgaria will hit the bottom of the economic crisis in the third or the fourth quarter of this year or in the first quarter of 2010. The economic contraction will stabilize in the second half of next year, Iskrov told the fourth annual meeting of Bulgarian businesses with the government.
Bulgaria's jobless rate will reach 9.0% next year under an optimistic scenario and the key economic growth engine in 2010 will be increased productivity. The unemployment rate will hit 10% under the pessimistic scenario, which fits into the government forecast for a 2.0% contraction of the economy next year, Iskrov said.
The central bank expects that GDP will shrink by 4.2% in 2009. Bulgaria's economy grew 6.0% in 2008, dragged down by a fourth-quarter slowdown to 3.5% from 6.9% in the last three months of 2007.