Bulgaria’s government forecasts economic expansion of 2.5 percent to 4 percent between 2013 and 2015, according to a three-year fiscal plan to be submitted to the European Commission.
The Cabinet’s estimate for this year’s economic growth is 1.4 percent, in line with its earlier budget assumptions, the government said in an e-mailed statement today. Bulgaria’s economy grew 1.7 percent last year and 0.4 percent in 2010.
“This year’s economic growth will be based on gradual recovery of domestic consumption,” the government said. “Exports are expected to increase in the period 2012-2015 as well as domestic demand.”
Bulgaria, the EU’s poorest country in terms of economic output per capita, weathered the global crisis without borrowing from international lenders. The government seeks to cut the budget gap to 1.35 percent of gross domestic product this year from 2.1 percent in 2011 to help contain fallout from the euro debt crisis.
The three-year fiscal plan envisages keeping budget deficits below 3 percent of GDP and achieving a balanced budget by 2015, the government said.
The government’s 1.4 percent growth forecast for this year matches the EU estimate on Feb. 23. The Bulgarian central bank’s forecast is 0.7 percent, based on “expectations for a recession in the European Union,” central bank Governor Ivan Iskrov said on April 3.
The sovereign-debt crisis in the euro area, which buys 60 percent of Bulgaria’s exports, is curbing economic growth in the Balkan country as it emerges from its first recession in more than a decade through exports of its metals, machinery, textiles and furniture.
The country’s priorities also include overhauling pension and health-care systems, keeping taxes unchanged and linking wage growth to productivity, the government said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Konstantinova in Sofia at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at email@example.com