Bulgaria’s GDP to rise 2.7% in 2021, 4.5% in 2022 – UniCredit

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Bulgaria’s largest lender UniCredit Bulbank said that it expects the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to rise by a real 2.7% this year and by 4.5% in 2022.

Bulgaria’s economic recovery is expected to be slower than the one of its regional peers, as the country was among the most-affected by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, UniCredit Bulbank said in its January 2021 quarterly macroeconomic update.

In addition, the forthcoming parliamentary elections this year are expected to lead to a slowdown in the absorption of funds from the Next Generation EU fund, as well as to a slowdown in the completion of some infrastructure projects.

Consumer price inflation is seen speeding up from an estimated 0.7% in 2020 to 2.5% this year and 2.6% in 2022.

Exports are seen rising by 5.6% this year and by 7.5% in 2022, after dropping by an estimated 12.5% in 2020. Imports are also expected to return to growth following a 9.3% decrease in 2020, with the rise seen at 5.3% in 2021 and 8.5% in 2022.

Unemployment is expected to increase from 5.4% in 2020 to 5.6% in 2021, before decreasing to 4.7% in 2022.

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