Bulgaria's Trade Deficit Up to 3.366 Bln Euros in January-May

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Bulgaria's Current and Capital account deficit stood at EUR 2,859 million (8.7% of GDP) in the period January – May 2008, against a deficit of EUR 2536.5 million (8.8% of GDP) for the same period in 2007, data of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) show.

In May 2008 the Current account was negative and amounted to EUR 627.4 million, compared to a negative account of EUR 460.5 million for the same month in 2007. In the period January – May 2008, the current account deficit was EUR 3,059.4 million (9.3% of GDP), against a deficit of EUR 2,586.3 million (8.9% of GDP) for the same period in 2007. The main factor for the increase of the current account deficit was the higher (by EUR 664.2 million) trade deficit.

The trade deficit in January – May 2008 amounted to EUR 3,365.5 million (10.3% of GDP), compared to a deficit of EUR 2,701.3 million (9.3% of GDP) for the same period in 2007. The trade deficit increase was also due to the increase of crude oil and natural gas prices.

Exports (FOB) amounted to EUR 6,336.7 million against EUR 5,025.5 million for the same period in 2007, increasing by 26.1% year on year against 8% for the same period in the previous year.

Imports (FOB) amounted to EUR 9,702.2 million, against EUR 7,726.8 million for January – May period in 2007, increasing by 25.6% year on year against 18.2% for the same period in the previous year. The difference in imports growth rates for the reporting period in 2008 and for the same period in 2007 was due to the increase of crude oil and natural gas prices.

The balance on the Services item was negative, amounting to EUR 52.8 million (0.2% of GDP), against a positive balance amounting to EUR 23 million (0.1% of GDP) for the same period in 2007. Income (net) item was negative amounting to EUR 29.4 million compared to a negative item of EUR 19.2 million for the same period in 2007. Net Current transfers amounted to EUR 388.4 million (1.2% of GDP) against EUR 111.3 million (0.4% of GDP) for the same period in 2007.

Тhe Capital account balance was positive amounting to EUR 200.4 million, compared to a balance of EUR 49.8 million for the same period in 2007. The Financial account balance was positive amounting to EUR 3,510.8 million, compared to a positive balance of EUR 3,262.2 million for the same period in 2007.

Foreign direct investment abroad was EUR 418.2 million against EUR 43.6 million for the same period in 2007. Foreign direct investment in Bulgaria was EUR 1,705.3 million (5.2% of GDP) against EUR 2,020.1 million (7% of GDP) for the same period in 2007. The direct investment covered 55.7% of the current account deficit against 78.1% for January – May 2007.

Portfolio investment - assets decreased by EUR 38.4 million, compared to a decrease of EUR 57 million for the same period in 2007. Portfolio investment – liabilities decreased by EUR 91.2 million. In the period January – May 2007, the liabilities decreased by EUR 220.3 million.

Other investment – assets decreased by EUR 938.9 million, compared to a decrease of EUR 563 million for the same period in 2007. Other investment – liabilities increased by EUR 1,401.7 million against an increase of EUR 920.9 million for January – May 2007.

The item Net errors and omissions was positive, amounting to EUR 222.3 million. For the same period in 2007 the item was negative amounting to EUR 409.9 million.

The Overall balance was positive, amounting to EUR 874.1 million compared to a positive overall balance of EUR 315.9 million for the same period in 2007. In the period January – May 2008 the BNB reserve assets increased by EUR 874.1 million.

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