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Bulgaria economic growth to remain among highest in EU

Date: 29.04.2008

Bulgaria's economic growth will remain among the highest in the EU in the following year according to the prognosis of the European Commission, the Bulgarian National Radio reported.

With a growth of 5,8% in 2008, and 5,6% in 2009, the Bulgaria economy is project to remain one of the fasting-growing together with those of Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Romania.

The Commission expects, however, that the growth in all of the EU will slow down, including in Bulgaria. Compared to the fall prognosis, the predicted growth of Bulgaria's GDP is now 0,2% lower for 2008 to reach 2%, and 0,6% in 2009 to settle at 1,8%.

The EU Commissioner for Finance and Monetary Affairs Joaquin Alumnia explained that the slowdown was mainly due to the global financial crisis, the growing petrol prices, the inflation, and the shrinking labor markets.

The EC prognosis on Bulgaria points out that the country had coped relatively well with the global crisis so far but that its economy was going to slow down, and consumer demand would decrease. It emphasizes the high inflation and the really weak exports, and defines the GDP growth in Bulgaria as "unbalanced".

The EC also expects that Bulgaria's unemployment rate would continue to decrease but at a slower pace.

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