Bulgarian Economy 'Stabilising'

2010-08-11

Bulgaria's economy may overcome its economic crisis in the coming months, according to a report by the country's industrial association. The Bulgarian Industrial Association review, published on Wednesday, said there was "moderate optimism" the state's financial health might gradually improve, following an extensive four-year analysis to 2009, Novite reports. Local companies could begin increasing their production given that exports increased at the end of last year and beginning of 2010 and unemployment fell in March, it said. The restructuring of Bulgaria's economy is expected to positively affect overall productivity, due to the survival of the best adapted enterprises. But the analysis warned of an overall weakness among underdeveloped human resources and a general low productivity among business and workers. There was also a delay in state payments to private companies in breach of contractural obligations, with only 37m euros being paid in July out of an outstanding 320m, according to expert assessments. The slow rate of absorption of EU-funds, with Bulgaria only absorbing eight per cent of funds for the first half of the 2007-2013 EU budgeting period up to the present moment, was also seen as negative. The report spans the term in office of the former tripartite coalition cabinet (2005-2009), as well as the end of the term of the prior liberal National Movement for Stability and Prosperity government (2001-2005), and the beginning of service of the current centre-right GERB cabinet (from July 2009).