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Bulgarian inflation slowed in February as easing output and rising unemployment triggered by the euro-area debt crisis cut demand and prices.
Consumer prices rose 2 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 2.3 percent increase in January, the National Statistics Institute in the capital, Sofia, said today in a statement. Prices increased 0.9 percent from the previous month.
Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest country in terms of economic output per capita, withstood the global recession in 2009 without an international bailout. Industrial output dropped 3.6 percent in January from a year earlier, the slowest in four months, as the debt crisis damped demand for Bulgarian exports.
The unemployment rate jumped to 11.5 percent in February, the highest in six months, as factories, hotels and farms fired workers or froze hiring.
Bulgaria’s inflation will “moderate to 3 percent on average in 2012,” the EU forecast on Feb. 23.
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