Bulgaria's Q1 Current Account Gap at EUR 1.67 Bln

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Bulgaria's Q1 Current Account Gap at EUR 1.67 Bln

Bulgaria's current account was negative and amounted to EUR 395.4 million in March 2008, compared to a negative account of EUR 461.5 million for the same month in 2007, data of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) show. In the period January – March 2008, the current account deficit was EUR 1,670.8 million (5.1% of GDP), against a deficit of EUR 1,574 million (5.4% of GDP) for the same period in 2007.

The main factor for the increase of the current account deficit was the higher (by EUR 209.8 million) trade deficit.

The current and capital account deficit stood at EUR 1,486.2 million (4.5% of GDP) in the period January – March 2008, against a deficit of EUR 1,546.6 million (5.4% of GDP) for the same period in 2007.

The trade deficit in January – March 2008 amounted to EUR 1,784.8 million (5.4% of GDP), compared to a deficit of EUR 1,575 million (5.5% of GDP) for the same period in 2007. Exports (FOB) amounted to EUR 3,643.3 million against EUR 2,899.1 million for the same period in 2007. Imports (FOB) amounted to EUR 5,428.1 million, against EUR 4,474.1 million for January – March period in 2007. The balance on the Services item was negative, amounting to EUR 145 million (0.4% of GDP), against a negative balance amounting to EUR 60 million (0.2% of GDP) for the same period in 2007.

Income (net) item was positive amounting to EUR 124 million compared to a negative item of EUR 9.3 million for the same period in 2007. Income receivable (EUR 431.3 million) increased by EUR 73.2 million compared to January – March 2007 (EUR 358.1 million). Income payable (EUR 307.4 million) decreased by EUR 60.1 million compared to January – March 2007 (EUR 367.4 million).

Net Current transfers amounted to EUR 135.1 million (0.4% of GDP) against EUR 70.3 million (0.2% of GDP) for the same period in 2007.

The Capital account balance was positive amounting to EUR 184.5 million, compared to a balance of EUR 27.4 million for the same period in 2007. The Financial account balance was positive amounting to EUR 1,791.6 million, compared to a positive balance of EUR 1,726 million for the same period in 2007.

Foreign direct investment abroad was EUR 391.3 million against a decrease of EUR 7.6 million for the same period in 2007.1 Foreign direct investment in Bulgaria was EUR 740 million (2.3% of GDP) against EUR 897.2 million (3.1% of GDP) for the same period in 2007. The direct investment covered 44.3% of the current account deficit against 57% for January – March 2007.

Portfolio investment - assets decreased by EUR 30.6 million, compared to an increase of EUR 25.4 million for the same period in 2007. Portfolio investment – liabilities decreased by EUR 19.9 million. In the period January – March 2007, the liabilities decreased by EUR 190.5 million.

Other investment – assets decreased by EUR 962.5 million, compared to a decrease of EUR 470.4 million for the same period in 2007. Other investment – liabilities increased by EUR 498.9 million against an increase of EUR 585.2 million for January – March 2007.

The item Net errors and omissions was negative, amounting to EUR 162.6 million. For the same period in 2007 the item was negative amounting to EUR 128 million.

The Overall balance was positive, amounting to EUR 142.7 million compared to a positive overall balance of EUR 51.3 million for the same period in 2007. In the period January – March 2008 the BNB reserve assets increased by EUR 142.7 million.

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