BULGARIA DREAM AREA CONFERENCE 2002

Central Intelligence Agency: Economy

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
Industrial production growth rate

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.)

$10.4 billion (2000 est.)
$10.4 billion (2000 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