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SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 28 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's finance ministry will target a balanced budget next year with education, healthcare, defence, and income and pension policies the main priority areas, it said.
Budget revenue and expenses are expected to total 46.8 billion levs ($26.5 billion/23.9 billion) each in 2020, the finance ministry said in a statement presenting the budget draft for next year on Friday .
The finance ministry announced last month that it expects the consolidated budget to show a surplus of 1.1% of GDP at the end of September. However, in its updated macroeconomic forecast published on Friday, the ministry said that it expects the country's budget to show a deficit of 2% at the end of 2019.
The country's GDP, calculated in current prices, is projected to increase to 126.8 million levs in 2020 from 118.6 million levs in 2019.
Real GDP growth is expected to speed up from 3.1% in 2018 to 3.4% in 2019, before slightly slowing down to 3.3% in each of 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The rise in Bulgaria's EU-harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) is forecast to slow down from 2.6% last year to 2.5% in 2019 and 2.1% in 2020. HICP inflation is then projected to stabilise at 2.2% in 2021 and 2.1% in 2022.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)