Thursday, May 19, 2022

UPDATE 2- Bulgaria targets financial deficit of 4.1% of GDP by 2022, more investment

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(Details, official quotes will be added)

SOFIA, Jan. 21 () – Bulgaria is targeting a budget deficit of no more than 4.1 percent of economic output under this year’s budget plan as it doubles investment to start an economy where COVID-19 infections are on the rise. , Finance Minister Assen Vasilev said on Friday.

The central coalition government plans to double its capital investment in the 2022 budget to ensure economic growth and improve living standards in the EU’s poorest member state, Vasilev told reporters.

“This budget is trying to constantly change the trajectory of economic growth, and I hope so,” Vasilev said.

“We plan to double capital investment from 2.9 per cent of GDP to 5.8 per cent,” he said.

The drawn political crisis prevented the Balkan state from approving the 2022 draft budget last year, and the coalition government, which began work in December, plans to submit its draft budget to parliament for approval by the end of January.

According to the plan, the small and open economy is expected to expand by 4.8% in 2022, which is expected from EU pandemic relief funds and national capital investment after projected real GDP growth of 3.7% last year. reinforced with a large current.

Vasilev noted that if there were no spending needed to support hospitals and struggling businesses at a time when coronavirus cases are on the rise, this year’s financial deficit would be 2.5 percent of GDP. In 2021, the budget deficit will be 3% of GDP.

The Ministry of Finance plans to raise 7.3 billion levs of new debt this year, part of which will be spent on global markets, repaying overdue debts and financing planned expenditures.

Bulgaria, which aims to join the eurozone in 2024, hopes to gradually reduce the deficit by 3.3 per cent next year and 3.0 per cent in 2024, as outlined in the 2022 draft budget.

According to the draft, the average annual inflation on the index harmonized by the European Union is expected to increase from 2.9% in 2021 to 5.6% this year, which is due to rising energy prices. In 2024, it should fall to 2.2%.

Bulgaria will increase investment in its underdeveloped roads and railways and increase funding to improve health services and provide free kindergartens for young parents, Vasilev said.

The government, which will keep income and corporate tax rates unchanged at 10 percent, will raise the minimum wage by 9 percent to 710 levs. (Interview with Tsveteliya Tsolova; edited by Alex Richardson, Elaine Hardkasl)

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