Bulgaria became a member state of the European union in 2007. It is classified as an upper-middle-income country by the World Bank. The Bulgarian economy is a free market economy. Economically Bulgaria can be qualified as a developed industrial country and an attractive place for active tourism and sport-lovers because of its incredible natural resources.

The economy of Bulgaria declined dramatically during the 1990s with the collapse of the COMECON system and the loss of the Soviet market, to which the Bulgarian economy had been closely tied. The standard of living fell by about 40%, and only regained pre-1989 levels by June 2004. In addition, UN sanctions against Serbia (1992-95) and Iraq took a heavy toll on the Bulgarian economy.

As of 2007 the economy is growing at a steady pace of about 6% a year with budget surpluses and shaky inflation. Future prospects are tied to the country's increasingly important integration with the European Union member states. The country is expected to join the Euro zone between 2010 and 2012.

Industry: electricity, gas and water; food, beverages and tobacco; machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel

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

Key Facts

GDP per capita - $12,372 (2008)
Inflation Rate – 12.5% (2007)
Country Risk Ratings – A4 (2007)
Ease of Doing Business – 46/178
Global Competitiveness – 79/137

GDP growth:

1999 – 2.3%
2000 – 5.4%
2001 – 4.1%
2002 – 4.9%
2003 – 5%
2004 – 6.6%
2005 – 6.2%
2006 – 6.3%
2007 – 6.2%

GDP by sectors: (2004)

Agriculture: 11.4%
Industry: 30%
Services: 58.6%

Inflation rate:

1993 – 72.8%
1995 – 62.1    %
1997 – 1061.2%
1999 – 2.6%
2001 – 7.4%
2003 – 5.6%
2005 – 5%
2007 – 12.5%

Budget surplus – 6% (2007)

Fiscal year – 1 January to 31 December

External debt: $12.05 billion (2004)

Industrial production growth rate: 6.3% (2004)

Population – 7,640,238

Ranked in terms of GDP – 70th in the world

Population under poverty line – 13% (2007)

Unemployment rate – 6.51% (2008)

Labour force by sector: agriculture – 7%, industry – 36.3%, services – 56.6% (2008)

Labour force – 3.465 million economically active (2008)

Electricity production – 41.38 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity consumption: 32.52 billion kWh (2002)

Electricity export: 6.79 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity import: 830 million kWh (2001)

Oil - production: 603 bbl/day (2001)

Oil - consumption: 94000 bbl/day (2001)

Oil – reserve: 8.1 million bbl (2001)

Natural gas - production: 4 million m3 (2002)

Natural gas - consumption: 5.804 billion m3 (2002)

Natural gas – reserve: 3.724 billion ΠΌ3 (2002)

Export: $18.0 billion (2007)

Export commodities: clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels

Export partners:

Italy 13%
Germany 11%
Turkey 10.1%
Greece 6.1%
Belgium 5.6%
France 4.2%
US 4.1% (2005)

Import: $29.1 billion (2007)

Import commodities: fuels, minerals, and raw materials; machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; food, textiles

Import partners:
Germany 14.7%
Russia 9.9%
Italy 9.9%
Turkey 6.8%
Greece 6.4%
Romania 4.2% (2005)

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