Bulgaria's Foreign Trade Deficit Down 64% in Jan-Aug 2011
Bulgaria's foreign trade deficit decreased by nearly 64% in the first eight months of 2011 year-on-year.
The deficit amount for the months January-August is BGN 1.13 B, compared to BGN 3.13 M for the same period of 2010.
The narrower gap is due to the fastest increase of Bulgaria's total exports (to both EU and non-EU countries), which in January-August 2011 amounted to BGN 26.9 B, an increase of 20.3% compared with the same period of 2010.
Foreign trade has been nearly the sole way Bulgaria used to benefit from the global economy's recovery in the last two years. Bulgarian exporter companies have now reached the pre-crisis levels of sales and some firms even upped wages. However, the increase of both exports and imports can be attributed mostly to higher prices of raw materials and of industrial products, experts, cited by the Bulgarian Dnevnik daily, say.
Meanwhile, data from the National Statistics Institute, NSI, released Friday, shows that retail sales remain low, meaning imports are also on the rise over higher prices of raw materials processed in Bulgaria, along with higher confidence of the households which leads to increased demand.
Retail trade is down by 3% in August on annual basis, and 0.5% on monthly basis, making it the third consecutive month of decrease. Even sales of cell phones and computers, which were up in the spring, are going down. There is also a decrease in the sales of appliances, furniture, clothing and shoes.
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