Bulgaria and Azerbaijan See Revised Economic Forecasts From IMF


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made significant revisions to its GDP growth projections for both Bulgaria and Azerbaijan. The adjustments, announced on Tuesday, reflect the changing economic circumstances in these countries.

For Bulgaria, the IMF’s autumn forecast reveals a temporary deceleration in GDP growth, down from 3.4% to a modest 1.7% in 2023. However, the economy is expected to rebound, reaching a growth rate of 3.2% in 2024, an improvement from the spring report that anticipated only a modest 1.4% growth for the current year. By the end of the decade, the Bulgarian economy is predicted to maintain a steady average annual growth rate of 2.8%.

In terms of inflation, a downward trend is projected, with annual inflation declining from last year’s high of 13% to an estimated 8.5% this year. It is expected to further drop to a low of 3% by 2024. The unemployment rate, on the other hand, is predicted to rise slightly from last year’s figure of 4.2%, reaching 4.6% in 2023 before falling back to a lower rate of 4.4% in the subsequent year.

Turning to Azerbaijan, the IMF has revised down its GDP growth projections to a steady rate of 2.5% for the years 2023, 2024, and extending up to 2028. This adjustment represents a decrease from the higher forecasts made in April.

The fund also expects a decrease in consumer price growth from an average of 10.3% in 2023 to approximately one-third at only 4% by the year 2028. This is lower than both the April forecast and the actual rate witnessed in the previous year (13.9%). The current account surplus is predicted to shrink significantly from a high surplus of nearly one-third of GDP (29.8%) in 2022 to just 7% by the end of the decade, again lower than the April forecasts.

In contrast, the Azerbaijani Economy Ministry predicts slightly more conservative GDP growth rates and a steady decrease in inflation from 9.5% in 2023 to under half that rate (4.9%) by 2025, following a year of significant GDP growth at 4.6% in 2022.


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