IMF Lowers Bulgaria's Economic Growth Forecast
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its forecast for Bulgaria's economic growth in 2014-2015, while expecting zero inflation this year.
In its October's World Economic Outlook report, the IMF forecasts a GDP growth of 1.4% in Bulgaria for 2014 after the "anemic" growth of 0.9% in 2013 as well as accelerating economic growth by 2.0% in 2015, which however is lower than April's forecast for an increase in GDP of 2.5% next year, Bulgaria's National Radio reports.
The Fund maintains its forecast for a 3% increase in Bulgaria's GDP by 2019. The report predicts deterioration of Bulgaria's fiscal balance and a current account deficit of 0.2 percent of GDP this year, expanding the deficit to 2.3% in 2015, and up to a deficit of 3.2% in 2019.
The IMF forecasts a decrease in Bulgarian unemployment rates to 12.5 percent in 2014 and down to 11.9 percent next year.
Meanwhile, the report notes that Ukraine and the Southeast European countries (including Bulgaria) seem particularly vulnerable to potential cutoffs of Russian gas.
“Should the gas cutoffs persist and be extended to other countries, the greatest impact will be on Ukraine and countries in southeast Europe that receive Russian gas transiting through Ukraine—in particular, Bulgaria and countries of the former Yugoslavia, which rely on Russian gas for virtually all of their import requirements and have only limited access to gas from alternative sources,“ the report says.
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