Bulgaria Personal, Economic Prosperity Prospects in Decline
A consumer survey conducted in October shows that trust in the economy and feelings about personal well-being are in decline throughout Bulgaria.
The most recent Bulgarian National Statistical Institute (NSI) poll showed an overall drop of 5,9 percentage points in October, when compared with responses made in July 2009. It is now at the same level as 6 months ago.
This drop is due to both a decrease in the trust among the inhabitants of villages and among those living in towns and cities, the fall being by 7.3% and 5.2%, respectively, NSI announced on Friday.
The results of this latest survey citing the outline views of consumers, present a more negative picture of ongoing and expected socio-economic factors and processes throughout Bulgaria, as compared to the same evaluation made 3 months ago.
The statistics records a slight improvement of consumer opinion concerning the financial status of households for the past year – up by 0,8%. Unlike the city dwellers, who gave a neutral opinion (“stayed the same”), the people living in the villages recorded a definite worsening of their household financial status, with a drop of 3,3%.
Consumers from both villages and cities expressed an increased pessimism in expectations regarding their household financial status for the next 12 months – their evaluations fell by 3,6% and 7,5 % respectively.
If in July consumers showed a relatively more positive evaluation compared to April regarding the general economic situation in the country over the past 12 months, their October evaluations were more unfavorable compared to 3 months ago.
According to their opinion, there is a worsening of the economic situation in the country. However, consumer evaluation concerning changes in prices in the last 12 months, is more positive than 3 months before.
The consumer responses show an increased pessimism regarding changes that may come about in the next 12 months, with a fall of 7,9%.
Expectations regarding inflation for the next 12 months are poorer, a continuation of the trend for a fall in the inflation expectations of consumers, that started back in July 2008.
As for unemployment for the next 12 months, after a slight positive fluctuation in July, the prognosis continues to worsen. The forecast is moving towards strongly negative expectations. More that half of the consumers – 55,5% compared to 44,4% in July – think that unemployment will drastically increase in the next 12 months.
In October, the overall evaluation regarding the status of the budget of households is falling, due to three factors: an increase in the number of debt-stricken households; an increase of those people forced to draw out money from their savings; and due to the decrease in the number of people who can actually save money.
At the same time about 70% of the households surveyed continue to evaluate their financial condition with the answer "we are just managing to make ends meet on our income".
The Bulgarian National Statistical Institute Consumer Survey is “part of the harmonized program of the European Union for business and consumer surveys, and is representative for the population of 16 years and older.”
The full NSI report, with graphs, can be found HERE.
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