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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Bulgaria Economy

Bulgaria    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: Bulgaria, a former communist country struggling to enter the European market economy, suffered a major economic downturn in 1996 and 1997, with triple digit inflation and GDP contraction of 10.6% and 6.9%. The current government - which took office in May 1997 after pre-term parliamentary elections - stabilized the economy and promoted growth by implementing a currency board, practicing sound financial policies, invigorating privatization, and pursuing structural reforms. Additionally, strong assistance from international financial institutions - most notably the IMF which approved a three-year Extended Fund Facility worth approximately $900 million in September 1998 - played a critical role in turning the economy around. After several years of tumult, Bulgaria's economy has stabilized. Its better-than-expected economic performance in 1999 - despite the impact of the Kosovo conflict, the 1998 Russian financial crisis, and structural reforms - and strong growth in 2000 portends solid growth over the next few years; this assumes continued fiscal restraint, additional structural reforms, aid from abroad, and prosperous times in the EU economy.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $48 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,200 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  15%

industry:  29%

services:  56% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line: 35% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  3.4%

highest 10%:  22.5% (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 10.4% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 3.83 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 26%, industry 31%, services 43% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate: 17.7% (2000 est.)
Budget: revenues:  $4.85 billion

expenditures:  $4.92 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Industries: electricity, gas and water; food, beverages and tobacco; machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel
Industrial production growth rate: 10.8% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 36.217 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  51.52%

hydro:  8.35%

nuclear:  40.12%

other:  0.01% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 33.182 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 2.2 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 1.7 billion kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: vegetables, fruits, tobacco, livestock, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar beets
Exports: $4.8 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels
Exports - partners: Italy 14%, Turkey 10%, Germany 9%, Greece 8%, Yugoslavia 8%, Belgium 6%, France 5%, US 4% (2000)
Imports: $5.9 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: fuels, minerals, and raw materials; machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; food, textiles
Imports - partners: Russia 24%, Germany 14%, Italy 8%, Greece 5%, France 5%, Romania 4%, Turkey 3%, US 3% (2000)
Debt - external: $10.4 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $1 billion (1999 est.)
Currency: lev (BGL)
Currency code: BGL
Exchange rates: leva per US dollar - 2.0848 (January 2001), 2.1233 (2000), 1.8364 (1999), 1,760.36 (1998), 1,681.88 (1997), 177.89 (1996)

note:  on 5 July 1999, the lev was redenominated; the post-5 July 1999 lev is equal to 1,000 of the pre-5 July 1999 lev
Fiscal year: calendar year


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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