November 2023 / Bulgaria

November 30 2023

Standard & Poor’s raises the rating outlook for Bulgaria.

The international rating agency Standard & Poor's has upgraded the credit rating outlook for Bulgaria from stable to positive, as announced by the Ministry of Finance. The agency confirms Bulgaria's long and short-term credit rating in foreign and local currency as 'BBB/A-2.'

S&P Global Ratings assesses Bulgaria's fiscal performance as one of the best among Central and Eastern European countries, anticipating that the current fiscal plans will lead to a deficit of less than 3% of GDP by 2026, maintaining the net public debt below 20% of GDP.

November 3 2023

The assets of investment funds in Bulgaria grow by 10% on an annual basis

At the end of September, the activities managed by both local and foreign investment funds operating in Bulgaria reached 9 billion euros, showing a year-on-year increase of 10.1% (827.6 million euros) and a quarterly increase of 1.3% (119.6 million euros). These data are provided by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB). In relation to the gross domestic product (GDP), the total assets of the funds at the end of September represented 4.8%, down from the 4.9% of the previous year and unchanged from the 4.8% at the end of the second quarter of this year.

The observations indicate an overall decrease of 62 investment funds over the course of a year, bringing the total to 1459 at the end of September. Specifically, foreign funds decreased by 47, reaching a total of 1307, while domestic funds decreased by five, totaling 152.

November 20 2023

The European Commission has improved its forecasts for the development of the Bulgarian economy for 2023

The European Commission (EC) has improved its forecasts for the development of the Bulgarian economy for this year compared to its last report in the spring. However, the institution has lowered its expectations for the next year, predicting a slowdown in the country's gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

For this year, the Commission forecasts that the Bulgarian economy will grow by 2.0%. This is 0.5 percentage points higher than the spring forecasts. For the next year, Brussels predicts a GDP slowdown to 1.8% amid strong private consumption and a contraction in imports, whereas the previous forecast was 0.6 percentage points higher.

Exports are expected to recover by the end of 2023, growing by 4.0% in 2024 and 2.6% in 2025, reflecting the recovery of export markets. The base effect of strong exports in 2022, especially in electricity, negatively affects growth rates in 2023 and is expected to disappear later.

Regarding inflation, forecasts are improving compared to spring ones as well. The EC predicts that the growth of consumer prices in Bulgaria will average 8.8% for the entire 2023 and will slow down to 4.0% next year. For comparison, the levels set in the spring forecasts were 9.4% for this year and 4.2% for 2024.