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Bulgaria's GDP growth to speed up in 2019 on fiscal stimulus - UniCredit

Author Mario Tanev
Bulgaria's GDP growth to speed up in 2019 on fiscal stimulus - UniCredit Author: UniCredit Bulbank / All rights reserved.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), January 9 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's economic growth is expected to speed up from 3.5% last year to 3.9% in 2019 on the back of moderate fiscal stimulus and acceleration of investment activity, Italian financial group UniCredit said on Wednesday

"Among the planned measures, the boost in infrastructure spending and the increase in public sector wages are expected to be the most effective in supporting domestic demand in 2019," UniCredit said in a quarterly macroeconomic report on Central and Eastern Europe.

Bulgaria's gross domestic product growth is then expected to slow down to 3.0% in 2020 as a result of the cyclical downturn anticipated in advanced economies and tighter financing conditions.

A sharp drop in export volumes to Turkey was among the major hurdles to Bulgaria's economic expansion in 2018. The forecast acceleration of the Turkish economy in the next few years is expected to limit the decrease in Bulgaria's exports to the country in 2019, before they start increasing in 2020.

As Bulgaria's unemployment rate is projected to drop below 5% this year, job creation is expected to lose some momentum.

Details follow (pct change unless otherwise stated):

  2018 2019 2020
GDP (bln euro) 54.9 58.7 61.9
GDP 3.5 3.9 3.0
Private consumption 5.4 5.4 3.0
Public consumption 3.4 3.7 2.2
Fixed investment 8.0 8.2 7.0
Exports 1.2 3.1 3.0
Imports 3.5 5.1 4.0
Real wage 5.3 6.7 5.8
Unemployment rate (pct) 5.3 4.8 4.5
Budget balance (pct of GDP) 0.7 -0.6 -0.8
Public debt (pct of GDP) 21.9 21.3 21.3
C/a balance (pct of GDP) 3.0 1.7 0.9
Net FDI (pct of GDP) 2.5 2.6 2.6
Gross foreign debt (pct of GDP) 58.7 53.7 50.8
FX reserves (bln euro) 25.6 27.2 29.2
CPI (pct, avg annual) 2.8 2.9 2.6
CPI (pct, end of period) 2.9 2.7 2.6

UniCredit is the parent company of Bulgaria's largest lender by assets - UniCredit Bulbank.