In May 2021, industrial production in Bulgaria grew by 15.1 per cent compared to May 2020, reads the latest Monthly Report on Bulgarian Economy released by the Economy Ministry on Thursday. Growth continued to be driven by the manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers, of machinery and equipment, and of metal products. The report, elaborated by the Economic and Financial Policy Department, presents the latest developments of main macroeconomic indicators based on statistical data as at July 16. In May 2021 year-on-year, the industrial turnover from the export of basic metals and energy goods increased, while electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply contributed the most to domestic turnover growth. The growth in construction production slowed down significantly and a decline was registered in building construction. At the same time, the growth of retail trade turnover was 24 per cent, with an increasing contribution of retail sale of food, beverages and tobacco. According to the National Employment Agency's data, the registered unemployed numbered 170,716 at the end of June, similarly to the same month of 2018 and 2019, which is a historic low for this parameter so far. The Finance Ministry's analysts expect the downward trend in the dynamics of the registered unemployed to continue in July, followed by a reversal of the trend in the fall months, mostly due to seasonal factors. In June, the monthly Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP) inflation rate was 0 per cent, while the annual HICP inflation rate accelerated marginally to 2.4 per cent largely yjnks to the increase in prices of energy and transport fuels in particular, as the latter reached 24 per cent year-on-year. Core inflation decelerated by 0.1 percentage points to 1.4 per cent. The rising international prices continued to push up nominal growth in trade with goods in April. Export and import increased by 49.6 per cent and 56 per cent, respectively, from April 2020. Trade with the EU had the highest contribution to the nominal growth. Gross external debt reached 59.1 per cent of projected GDP at end-April. It increased by 0.5 percentage points from a month earlier, driven mostly by higher short-term bank credit. Private sector credit growth accelerated further in May, up by 6.4 per cent year-on-year, compared to an annual increase by 6.1 per cent at the end of April. At еnd-May, a deficit of 0.1 per cent of projected GDP was reported on the Consolidated Fiscal Program (CFP). In January-May 2021, CFP receipts increased by 16.1per cent year-on-year. At end-May, government debt amounted to 24.5 per cent of projected GDP, compared to 21 per cent of GDP a year earlier.