Worst of Economic Crisis Over, 60% of Bulgarians Say

Worst of Economic Crisis Over, 60% of Bulgarians Say

A nationally representative survey conducted by the Open Society Institute-Sofia in October 2009 showed that according to 60 per cent of Bulgarians the worst of the economic crisis has passed, the Institute's Director Georgi Stoichev told reporters on Monday.

Stoichev attributed the optimism, as well as the pessimism, of respondents to political factors related to the election of the new Government, rather than to economic factors only.

The poll showed that about 41 per cent of GERB supporters are positive about Bulgaria's economic development in the following 12 months, compared to only 9 per cent of Bulgarian Socialist Party supporters and 10 per cent of Movement for Rights and Freedoms supporters.

Worst hit by the crisis are people aged between 30 and 60. The survey found also that pensioners are the least affected by the crisis. The number of people having confidence in the anti-crisis measures proposed by the new Government has doubled compared to March 2009. At the same time, 50 per cent of Bulgarians have not been informed about the anti-crisis measures taken by both the previous and the incumbent government.

According to data released by the Centre for Economic Development (CED), the 2009 economic decline will be about 5 per cent and the economic growth in 2010 and 2011 will not exceed 0.5 and 4 per cent respectively. The monthly inflation rate in 2010 will be below 1 per cent. Unemployment rate will hit its peak in early 2010 reaching 9.5 per cent and will drop slightly in the summer.

The annual unemployment rate in 2010 will be 9 per cent, according to the Centre. CED predicts also that foreign direct investments in 2010 will amount to 3,000 million euro, compared to 3,500 million euro in 2011.

According to Luchezar Bogdanov of Industry Watch, the most important factor for achieving economic growth are added value producers. According to Bogdanov, the banks will begin to finance new projects only after the real sector starts working properly. He disagreed with comments that public spending has been substantially reduced in the 2010 budget. Bogdanov argued that public spending under the 2010 budget has been significantly increased, the largest expenditure item being pensions.

Source: BTA

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