Positive Economic Signals
In the middle of the summer – time traditionally characterized by positive economic results for Bulgaria as a result of the increased seasonal employment, there are clear signs of further optimism. Although Bulgaria normally relies on seasonal activities, economic data clearly indicate a trend of economic recovery and one-year stagnation override.
According to The Employment Agency data the number of unemployed people has decreased for a sixth consecutive month reaching 10.6 % in June 2014 which is practically a 0.1 % lower level compared to the previous month (May 2014). In comparison to the same month of the last year (June 2013) the unemployment practically dropped by 0.2 %. The numbers do not suggest drastic changes, but do represent an important signal in two major aspects:
• The trend of increasing unemployment has been irreversibly stopped and economic tendencies suggest a further even greater decline;
• The stabilization of the political situation will additionally improve the business environment that was rather unstable in the last few months. Along with the decreasing unemployment this tendency should guarantee positive economic development.
Restoration of European program payments
In the middle of the summer, after the temporary government took office, there seem to be clear signs of restoration of frozen European program payments (especially by the “Regional Development” program). This fresh money should push the local economy and stimulate local businesses.
Large infrastructural projects
Additional positive signals came from the state intentions to restore and start several large infrastructural projects. The main reason for this is the officially approved budget of the country within the new EU program period. This money is crucial for the overall economic development and will certainly have a positive long-term effect.
Although just recovered from internal political unrest, Bulgaria’s economy seems quite stable, especially compared to other EU member states. Its potential is impressive, but the important question is if it will ultimately have full practical realization.