IMF lowers economic growth forecast for Bulgaria

The International Monetary Fund has cut back its economic growth forecast for 2013 and 2014, seeing growth this year at 0.5 per cent after the 1.2 per cent that it had predicted in April.

The figures were included in the IMF’s World Economic Outlook October 2013.

According to the IMF, its projection for Bulgaria for economic growth in 2013 of 0.5 per cent will be followed by 1.6 per cent in 2014, down from its April forecast of 2.3 per cent next year. The forecast for next year by the IMF is lower than the Bulgarian finance ministry’s foreseen 1.8 per cent economic growth in 2014.

The IMF also lowered its outlook for the annual average growth in consumer prices, to 1.4 per cent this year and 1.5 per cent in 2014. The IMF’s previous estimates were for 2.1 per cent in 2013 and 1.9 per cent in 2014.

The Funds sees the current account balance at 1.2 per cent of GDP in 2013 and 0.3 per cent of GDP next year.

According to the IMF, unemployment in 2013 will come out at 12.4 per cent, dropping to 11.4 per cent in 2014.

Unemployment in Bulgaria was 12.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2013, representing 437 300 people, according to National Statistical Institute (NSI) figures released on October 1. Eurostat figures released on October 1 said that unemployment in Bulgaria in August 2013 was 13 per cent, up from 12.3 per cent in August 2012.

The IMF said that for many countries where a large share of the high unemployment appears to be structural (for example, Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland), a “bold reform agenda will be needed to alleviate growth bottlenecks.

“The agenda will vary by country but includes addressing low labour force participation, boosting external competitiveness, and completing the transition agendas,” the IMF said.

(Photo: Leah Sawyer)




The Sofia Globe staff

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