The business climate indicator compiled by Bulgaria’s National Statistical Institute worsened for the third straight month in May 2013, continuing the overall trend of this year.
In May 2013, the total business climate was 1.1 percentage points lower than in April.
In industry, the indicator dropped by 4.4 percentage points, in construction by 1.9 percentage points, while in retail, the business climate indicator increased by 3.4 and in the service sector by 1.9 percentage points.
The statistical institute said that the composite indicator, “business climate in industry” was lower than in April mainly because of managers’ worsening assessments about the current business situation for enterprises. Over the next three months, orders were expected to be down, the NSI said on May 28.
The uncertain economic environment and insufficient domestic demand continued to be the main factors named by industrial entrepreneurs as obstacles to business development, the institute said.
In construction, the indicator was down mainly because of the uncertain economic environment. Other factors were financial problems, insufficient demand and competition in the sector.
However, May 2013 saw an increase in the retail trade indicator, mainly because retailers expected an improvement over the next six months and there was improved optimism about sales and orders placed with suppliers.
According to the National Statistical Institute, in April 2013 the total business climate indicator decreased by 0.6 percentage points month-on-month, with the industry indicator dropping by 4.2 percentage points, while in the same month, in the construction and service sectors, the business climate rose while the retail industry indicator remained about the same.
In March, the total business climate indicator fell by 1.8 percentage points, with industry, construction and retail at the time all seeing a more unfavourable business climate.
March 2013 was also the month when Bulgaria’s political crisis reached a new low, following street protests mobilised on cost-of-living issues.
The previous month, February, had seen the business climate indicator increase by 5.7 percentage points, with managers relaying more favourable opinions in all sectors – industry, construction, retail and the services sector.
In January, however, the total business climate indicator had decreased by 3.2 percentage points from December 2012, driven down mainly by a more unfavourable business climate in industry and the retail trade.
(Photo: Leah Sawyer)