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Dec 09, 2009 16:24 EEST
December 9 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's economy will shrink 4.9% this year and the country's budget gap will reach 0.75% of the projected gross domestic product (GDP), or 500 million levs ($377.5 million/255.6 million euro), state-run news agency BTA reported on Wednesday.
The country's economic contraction will be smaller than the initial forecast of 6.3%, thanks to good management of the country's fiscal problems, BTA quoted Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov as saying. Bulgaria's GDP expanded by a real 6.0% in 2008.
With a budget gap of 0.75% of GDP this year, Bulgaria will be the county with the smallest fiscal deficit among the European Union member states, Dyankov added.
Dyankov, who became Finance Minister after the country's July general elections, had previously said the government in Sofia would aim for a balanced budget or a budget gap equivalent to some 0.5% of the projected GDP this year. The country ended 2008 with a budget surplus equivalent to 3.0% of GDP.
Bulgaria will post a monthly budget surplus of 48 million levs for November due to higher tax revenues according to preliminary data and will achieve the same result in December, Dyankov said.
The country's ten-month consolidated budget gap totalled 545.7 million levs, compared to a budget surplus of some 5.039 billion levs in the first ten months of 2008.
(1 euro = 1.95583 Bulgarian levs)
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