BULGARIAN BUSINESS FOUND DISAPPOINTED AT END-2001
The Bulgarian business was found disappointed at end-2001 by a poll of the National Statistics Institute (NSI) about the last quarter of the year. Assessments of the business climate in the sphere of construction and retail trade were the most pessimistic. Building contractors explain the shrinkage of their activities mostly by the winter season and next by insufficient demand and high prices of construction products, and retailers' forecasts for the first quarter of 2002 are gloomy. They point out insufficient demand in December and throughout 2001. This is also the major problem, impeding the operation of enterprises. The other problems according to manufacturers are connected with the demand for their products abroad, the competition of imported goods, and the instability of the economic environment. Nevertheless, industrial companies are more optimistic in their assessment of business climate in December as compared to construction firms and retailers. In the last month of 2001 this indicator regained the 3 percentage points, lost in November, while the trust indicator marked a slight worsening. According to NSI's poll, the estimations about the production activity and the level of orders from abroad are favourable.