Банкеръ Weekly



According to the National Statistics Institute (NSI) preliminary data the 4Q 2000 GDP has increased by 6.5% compared to the same period of 1999.
Calculated on the basis of current prices it amounts to BGL7534.2MN, while the nominal GDP for the whole 2000 amounts to BGL25,453.6MN. GDP per capita was BGL3100 or USD1459, calculated on the basis of the average exchange rate of BGL2.124 per USD1. The increased value of the indicators compared to previous years is due to the improved economic environment for some industrial sectors, as well as to the increased share of privatised industrial assets, said NSI experts.
The industrial value added has also increased. The gross value added for the 4Q of 2000 amounts to BGL6.778MN in terms of current prices, which represents 8.1% growth compared to the same period of 1999. State owned companies have produced 30.3% of the surplus value. Twice as big is the contribution of the private sector - 69.7%, representing 15.2% growth against the 4Q of 1999. For the whole 2000 the private business has created 69.3% of the economy's surplus value - 14.2% real increase of the index compared to 1999. While the conteibution of the public sector to the index has dropped by 7.4%.
According to NSI data Bulgarian export and import of goods in 2000 amounts to USD11,306.2MN, or BGL24,076.5MN. Compared to 1999 this is an increase by 18.7%. The 2000 foreign trade balance is negative at absolute value of BGL2,502.7MN, as import exceeds export by 35%. Export amounts to BGL4,812.3MN and compared to 1999 has increased by 20.1%. Import amounts to BGL13,828.8MN, which is 17.7% increase compared to 1999.
According to experts, the persistent tendency of increasing the foreign trade gap will add pressure on the country's foreign currency reserves.
The major Bulgarian trade partners are among the European countries. 51.2% of the country export and 44.1% of the import is carried out with them. According to NSI data, there is a deterioration of the trade balance with the CIS countries. In 2000 the export to CIS countries decreased by 18.8%, while import has increased by 39.8%.
Bulgarian export list consists mainly of processed and ready products, chemicals and fuels, machines and equipment. Bulgaria imports mainly mineral fuels, hi-tech machinary and transport vehicles.
According to NSI in the end of 2001 Bulgarian entrepreneurs as a whole expect predominantly positive trends in the economic environment. The optimism in the industrial sector comes from the already signed orders and indications for exports increase. In the construction building the environment has considerably improved due to the traditional seasonal activity in this sector. Entrepreneurs in the sector even think that at present the construction building capacities are insufficient. Problems in construction building arise mainly from inter-company endebtedness and clients' insolvency as a whole, say NSI experts. The business climate in the air and rail transport as of the beginning of April 2001 is deteriorating compared to 1Q mainly due to the decreased demand of transport services.

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