On Monday Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said that the board of directors of Bulgargaz had been changed because their poor decisions have led to rising gas and electricity prices. He added that he expects an imminent investigation into the actions of some board members. This is not the only news from today regarding an investigation into a public official - the Anti-corruption commission CIAF said it will probe potentially illegal actions by Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev. In other news:
Bulgarian National Bank revises downwards economic growth forecast for 2022
The National Bank (BNB) expects that the Bulgarian economy will grow 3.6 percent in 2022, 1.2 percent lower than the estimates of the Financial Ministry from its budget proposal for 2022. According to the Central Bank, the inflation rate for the coming year would be 7.5 percent compared to 5.6 percent expected by the Finance Ministry. BNB is also revising downwards its estimates for the final GDP growth figure for 2021 to 3.7 percent, mostly driven by domestic consumption growth (7.5 percent).
Sofia Airport saw 3.8 million fewer passengers in 2021 compared to 2019
Sofia Airport welcomed 3.8 million fewer passengers in 2021 than in 2019 and the period between 5 and 25 January of this year alone saw nearly 3,900 cancellation requests from carriers for flights to and from Sofia, the airport's administration reported on Monday. In 2021, the capital's airport handled 3.3 million passengers, just 47 percent of its passenger traffic in 2019, when there were more than 7.1 million.
Banks issued more than 1 billion BGN in credits to business in December 2021
The recent growth in the credit market continued into December 2021 when banks granted new loans to companies worth a total of BGN 1.09 billion, interest rate statistics published by BNB on Monday show. Most of the financing for businesses was granted in Bulgarian lev - 775.5 million BGN, at the record-low interest rate of 2.39 percent. The value of loans in euros stood at only 2.17 percent of the total. As a whole, the corporate sector received on average 712 million BGN of bank financing per month in 2021 compared to 625 million BGN in 2020. Similar trends are observed in the household credit market.