Bulgaria overview

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In Bulgaria we focus on:

  • supporting the competitiveness of Bulgarian companies by helping to improve their governance, enhance value chains, promote the knowledge economy and assist in adaptation to demographic challenges
  • financing infrastructure projects that enhance regional connectivity, provide green solutions to urban challenges for municipalities, promote decarbonisation and resource efficiency, and
  • strengthening the resilience of financial intermediation.

As well as being a country where the EBRD works, Bulgaria is also a donor. In 2018 Bulgaria provided €115 million of European Structure and Investment Funds to support water projects across the country.  

The EBRD’s latest strategy for Bulgaria was adopted on 15 January 2020.

Bulgaria's policy response to the coronavirus crisis

The EBRD is monitoring Bulgaria's policy response to the coronavirus pandemic. Our biweekly publication identifies the major channels of disruption as well as selected impact and response indicators.

Learn more

EBRD forecast for Bulgaria’s real GDP growth in 2022 3.0%

EBRD forecast for Bulgaria's real GDP growth in 2023 1.5%

The economy expanded by 4.2 per cent in 2021, and remained quite resilient in the first half of 2022 with growth of 4.5 per cent year-on-year, driven by strong accumulation of inventories, private and government consumption. Private consumption also expanded by 4.2 per cent year-on-year in the same period, but momentum has declined amid rising inflation and decreasing consumer confidence. Investment declined sharply in the second quarter, as firms confront increased uncertainty, and was 14 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

Nevertheless, industrial production increased by almost 17 per cent yearon-year in the first half of 2022, as manufacturing remained resilient in spite of the Russian gas 26 shutdown since April 2022. Inflation has significantly worsened, reaching 17.3 per cent in July 2022, and above 20 per cent for food, utilities and housing, transport and restaurants and hotel prices. The government’s main measure against rising energy costs is full compensation of firms’ electricity bills above €125/MWh. Households have been protected by means of regulated prices, and pensions were increased by 10 per cent in July 2022. The ongoing political crisis may cause delays in the absorption of the second disbursement of the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. Due to the robust performance in the first half of the year, GDP growth has been revised up for 2022 to 3 per cent, but uncertainty over gas supply, weakening domestic and foreign demand amid high inflation and deterioration of confidence, as well as political uncertainty, could translate into modest growth of 1.5 per cent in 2023.

Bulgaria in the EBRD's 2022-23 Transition report


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