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    Bulgaria Economy 2000

      Economy - overview: In April 1997, the current ruling Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) government won pre-term parliamentary elections and introduced an IMF currency board system which succeeded in stabilizing the economy. The triple digit inflation of 1996 and 1997 has given way to an official consumer price increase of 6.2% in 1999. Following declines in GDP in both 1996 and 1997, the economy grew an officially estimated 3.5% in 1998 and 2.5% in 1999. In September 1998, the IMF approved a three-year Extended Fund Facility, which provides credits worth approximately $900 million, designed to support Bulgaria's reform efforts. In 1999, an unfavorable international environment - primarily caused by the Kosovo conflict - and structural reforms slowed economic growth, but forecasters are predicting accelerated growth over the next several years. The government's structural reform program includes: (a) privatization and, where appropriate, liquidation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs); (b) liberalization of agricultural policies, including creating conditions for the development of a land market; (c) reform of the country's social insurance programs; and (d) reforms to strengthen contract enforcement and fight crime and corruption.

      GDP: purchasing power parity - $34.9 billion (1999 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate: 2.5% (1999 est.)

      GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,300 (1999 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector:
      agriculture: 21%
      industry: 29%
      services: 50% (1999 est.)

      Population below poverty line: NA%

      Household income or consumption by percentage share:
      lowest 10%: 3.3%
      highest 10%: 24.7% (1992)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6.2% (1999 est.)

      Labor force: 3.82 million (1998 est.)

      Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 26%, industry 31%, services 43% (1998 est.)

      Unemployment rate: 15% (1999 est.)

      Budget:
      revenues: $4.69 billion
      expenditures: $5.06 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)

      Industries: machine building and metal working, food processing, chemicals, construction materials, ferrous and nonferrous metals, nuclear fuel

      Industrial production growth rate: -3% (1999 est.)

      Electricity - production: 38.423 billion kWh (1998)

      Electricity - production by source:
      fossil fuel: 52.34%
      hydro: 7.35%
      nuclear: 40.31%
      other: 0% (1998)

      Electricity - consumption: 35.493 billion kWh (1998)

      Electricity - exports: 2 billion kWh (1998)

      Electricity - imports: 1.76 billion kWh (1998)

      Agriculture - products: vegetables, fruits, tobacco, livestock, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar beets

      Exports: $3.8 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

      Exports - commodities: machinery and equipment; metals, minerals, and fuels; chemicals and plastics; food, tobacco, clothing (1998)

      Exports - partners: Italy 13%, Germany 10%, Greece 9%, Turkey 8%, Russia (1998)

      Imports: $5.3 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

      Imports - commodities: fuels, minerals, and raw materials; machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; food, textiles (1998)

      Imports - partners: Russia 20%, Germany 14%, Italy 8%, Greece 6%, US 4% (1998)

      Debt - external: $10 billion (1999 est.)

      Economic aid - recipient: $NA

      Currency: 1 lev (Lv) = 100 stotinki

      Exchange rates: leva (Lv) per US$1 - 1.9295 (January 2000), 1.8364 (1999), 1,760.36 (1998), 1,681.88 (1997), 177.89 (1996), 67.17 (1995)
      note: on 5 July 1999 the lev was re-denominated; the post-5 July 1999 lev is equal to 1,000 of the pre-5 July 1999 leva

      Fiscal year: calendar year

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