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EBRD Ups Forecast for Bulgaria's Economy

Date: 26.01.2010

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has revised upwards its 2010 growth forecast for a number of countries, including Bulgaria.

The prognosis for Bulgaria was upped to a 0 % growth of GDP from a forecast of 1.5 %, but the bank warned that the recovery is likely to be slowed by the fiscal tightening.

It is also expected that in the last quarter of 2010 Bulgarian economy will register 0.7 % growth compared to the same period the previous year.

For 2011 the EBRD foresees Bulgaria's GDP to be increased by 2.7 % compared to 2010.

Economic growth in Europe’s emerging economies will be much stronger than predicted this year, but with stark differences between them, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The forecast increase in gross domestic product to 3.3 % from the 2.5 % predicted three months ago will lift investor confidence in a region hard hit by the global economic crisis because of its dependence on external capital.

The multilateral bank for the former Communist bloc, which has expanded its activities to Turkey, says in a report published on Friday that the improvements are largely due to a better performance than expected in Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkey.

But the bank warns that some of the region’s 29 states will struggle, with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Hungary likely to stay stuck in recession.

Erik Berglof, chief economist, said in a statement: “The recovery in the region remains fragile, with large variations across countries. The gradual global recovery will support regional growth, but local factors will dampen it.”

Berglof called for governments and banks to pursue policies to clean up balance sheets, restructure debt and deal with distressed assets.

The EBRD said that banks would be cautious as the recession had increased risk perceptions while non-performing loans burdened their books.

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