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World Bank Predicts Gloomy 2010 for Bulgaria

Date: 11.12.2009

In a comprehensive report the World Bank has painted a gloomy picture of the Bulgarian economy in 2010

Although more modest than the expected impact in other countries, the [Bulgarian] labor market is again an important transmission channel, particularly among workers in the construction sector. Declining remittances underpin about a quarter of the overall poverty increase, and a much larger share of the rise in extreme poverty, states the report.

Currently, household debt in Bulgaria is equivalent to almost 30 % of GDP, according to the World Bank. Rising housing loans and mortgages have accounted for much of the growth in household liabilities and now represent almost 40 % of total household liabilities in Bulgaria.

A deteriorating global economic environment is eroding the region’s recent gains, and threatening the welfare of about 160 million people - close to 40 million people who are poor, and 120 million people just above the poverty line.

The World Bank’s prediction for Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia states that, by 2010, there will be 11 million more people in the region living in poverty, and more than 23 million others will find themselves just above the poverty line.

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