According to "Bulgaria 2008 - Statistical Panorama", recently published by the National Statistical Institute, foreign direct investments (FDI) in Bulgaria amounted to 12,054 million leva in 2008, down 27.4 per cent from 2007 when FDI stood at 16,601 million leva. Bulgarian direct investments abroad soared by 934.9 million leva in 2008, compared with an increase by 385.3 million leva in 2007.
According to preliminary data, Bulgaria's GDP at current prices was 66,728 million leva in 2008. The current GDP volume was 10,208 million leva more than a year earlier. The average annual price growth in 2008, compared to 2007, accounted for 66.7 per cent of nominal GDP growth.
In 2008, the GDP (in comparable prices) totaled 59,919 million leva, 6 per cent more than in 2007. Since 1995 this was the twelfth year with a positive GDP growth rate. For the first time in 2002, GDP exceeded its 1995 levels by 3.9 per cent, reaching 38.6 per cent and 46.8 per cent in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
According to preliminary data, in 2008 the average GDP generated by one employed person was 17,397 leva at current prices. Compared to 2007, the national labor productivity per one employed person and the national labor productivity per worked hour increased by 2.7 per cent each.
The average annual figures for the 2004-2008 period show that the economy grew mostly due to intensive factors. Increased labor productivity per one employed person accounted for 47.6 per cent of real GDP growth, and more efficient use of work time generated 4.8 per cent of GDP growth.
The year-on-year inflation rate in December 2008 as measured by the consumer price index stood at 7.8 per cent and was generated by the accumulated relatively high annual inflation for the last 10 years.
The base interest rate decreased from 4.6 per cent at the end of 2000 to 2.1 per cent at the end of 2005. Due to an increase in 2007 and 2008 (4.6 per cent at the end of 2007 and 5.8 per cent at the end of 2008), the 2000 value of the base rate was reached and exceeded.
Bulgaria's current account deficit in 2008 was 16,887 million leva, as against 9,099 million leva in 2006 and 14,214 million leva in 2007.