Heritage Foundation: Bulgaria Economy More Free but Not Quite There Yet

Business | January 14, 2009, Wednesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

The Bulgarian economy is 64,6% free, according to the 2009 Index of Economic Freedom, released by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal.

The score places Bulgaria in the group of countries with moderately free economies.

Bulgaria's economic freedom score ranks the country 56th among a total of 183 in the 2009 Index. The overall score is 0,9 point higher than last year, primarily as a result of improved business and fiscal freedom, according to the report.

Bulgaria is ranked 26th freest among the 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is well above the world average, the report points out, adding that Bulgaria has overcome initial delays in the transition to a market-oriented economy by pursuing comprehensive economic reform and trade liberalization.

The top five Bulgaria's economic freedoms, well above the global average, are: fiscal freedom (86,2%), trade freedom (85,8%), labor freedom (78,4%) business freedom (73,5%), monetary freedom (72,8%).

Property rights, and government size remain problem areas - by its 30% property rights freedom index, the country is well below the world average. The report also gives a low score to the freedom from corruption index and points out that the country still has a high rate of organized crime and government and judicial corruption with corruption's threat to the security of the common border being a matter of great concern to the EU.

Total government expenditures, including consumption and transfer payments, are also high, the report reveals. In the most recent year, government spending equaled 37,1% of the Gross Domestic Product.
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