The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its economic growth forecast for Bulgaria for 2020 to minus four per cent, before rising to six per cent in 2021, according to its April 2020 World Economic Outlook.
The IMF projection for Bulgaria’s 2020 economic growth is in stark contrast to the one it issued in October 2019, when it saw the figure as 3.2 per cent.
The IMF titled its report, released on April 14, “The Great Lockdown”, a reference to the Covid-19 global pandemic.
The report projects unemployment in Bulgaria as rising to eight per cent in 2020, a projection that if it comes true would mean a figure about double that reported by Eurostat for Bulgaria in February 2020, with the IMF adding that it sees the country’s unemployment decreasing to 4.5 per cent in 2021.
Consumer prices in Bulgaria are projected to rise by one per cent in 2020, and 1.9 per cent in 2021.
The IMF said that the Covid-19 pandemic is inflicting high and rising human costs worldwide, and the necessary protection measures are severely impacting economic activity.
As a result of the pandemic, the global economy is projected to contract sharply by –3 per cent in 2020, much worse than during the 2008–09 financial crisis.
In a baseline scenario–which assumes that the pandemic fades in the second half of 2020 and containment efforts can be gradually unwound—the global economy is projected to grow by 5.8 per cent in 2021 as economic activity normalizes, helped by policy support, the IMF said.
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(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)