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2-3 CIA World Factbook on Bulgaria - Economy


This article is from the Bulgaria FAQ, by Dragomir R. Radev radev@tune.cs.columbia.edu with numerous contributions by others.

2-3 CIA World Factbook on Bulgaria - Economy

Economic overview: One of the poorest countries of central Europe, Bulgaria
has continued the difficult process of moving from its old command economy
to a modern, market-oriented economy. GDP rose a moderate 2.4% in 1995;
inflation was down sharply; and unemployment fell from an estimated 16% to
12%. Despite this progress, structural reforms necessary to underpin
macroeconomic stabilization were not pursued vigorously. Mass privatization
of state-owned industry continued to move slowly, although privatization of
small-scale industry, particularly in the retail and service sectors,
accelerated. The Bulgarian economy will continue to grow in 1996, but
economic reforms will remain politically difficult as the population has
become weary of the process.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $43.2 billion (1995 est.)
GDP real growth rate: 2.4% (1995 est.)
GDP per capita: $4,920 (1995 est.)
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 12%
industry: 36%
services: 52% (1994)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 35% (1995)
Labor force: 3.1 million
by occupation: industry 41%, agriculture 18%, other 41% (1992)
Unemployment rate: 11.9% (1995 est.)
revenues: $3.8 billion
expenditures: $4.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994)
Industries: machine building and metal working, food processing, chemicals,
textiles, construction materials, ferrous and nonferrous metals
Industrial production growth rate: 2% (1995)
capacity: 11,500,000 kW
production: 38.1 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 4,342 kWh (1994)
Agriculture: grain, oilseed, vegetables, fruits, tobacco; livestock
Illicit drugs: important transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin
and, to a lesser degree, South American cocaine transiting the Balkan
route; limited producer of precursor chemicals
Exports: $4.2 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
commodities: machinery and equipment 12.8%; agriculture and food 21.9%;
textiles and apparel 14%; metals and ores 19.7%; chemicals 16.9%; minerals
and fuels 9.3%
partners: former CEMA countries 35.7%; OECD 46.6% (EU 33.5%); Arab
countries 5.1%; other 12.6%
Imports: $4 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
commodities: fuels, minerals, and raw materials 30.1%; machinery and
equipment 23.6%; textiles and apparel 11.6%; agricultural products 10.8%;
metals and ores 6.8%; chemicals 12.3%; other 4.8%
partners: former CEMA countries 40.3%; OECD 48.3% (EU 34.1%); Arab
countries 1.7%; other 9.7%
External debt: $10.4 billion (1995)
Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $39 million (1993)
note: $700 million in balance of payments support from Western nations
Currency: 1 lev (Lv) = 100 stotinki
Exchange rates: leva (Lv) per US$1 - 70.5 (December 1995), 54.2 (1994),
27.1 (1993), 23.3 (1992), 18.4 (1991); note - floating exchange rate since
February 1991
Fiscal year: calendar year


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