EU Commission Revises Down Bulgaria's Economic Growth Forecast for 2018
115 ECONOMY - AUTUMN FORECAST - EU - BULGARIA
EU Commission Revises Down
Growth Forecast for 2018
Brussels, November 8 (BTA) - Real GDP growth in Bulgaria is expected to reach 3.5 per cent this year, down from 3.8 per cent in the spring forecast, according to the European Commission's autumn forecast published on Thursday. This is a sign of a slowdown of economic growth as the Commission's data show the Bulgarian economy grew by 3.8 per cent in 2017.
Brussels' growth forecast for 2019 remains unchanged at 3.7 per cent. In 2020, the Commission sees Bulgaria's economic growth slow down to 3.6 per cent.
Bulgaria's growth momentum is expected to remain strong, mainly driven by solid domestic demand, with private consumption supported by real wage growth, reported the EC. High demand, increased capacity utilization and EU funding are set to boost investment, while imports will outpace exports, leading to a further reduction in the current account surplus.
Energy prices and domestic demand increases are expected to lift inflation. It is expected to reach 2.6 per cent in 2018 compared to 1.2 per cent in 2017. In 2019, the inflation is projected to be 2 per cent, followed by 1.8 per cent in 2020. The government balance is set to remain positive and public debt should continue falling.
The unemployment rate is set to reach 6 per cent in 2018, compared to 6.2 per cent in 2017, and to further decline to 5.8 per cent in 2019 and 5.7 per cent in 2020.
Labour shortages and planned government wage increases are expected to drive wage growth above productivity growth over the forecast period, according to the EC. LY/TH