On Monday evening a Market Links poll showed falling trust in the ruling coalition factions, including Prime Minister Kiril Petkov's WCC. According to the study, if elections were held today, WCC would be second with 19.7 percent of the vote, behind GERB with 22.1 percent. Showman Slavi Trifonov's TISP party would be last with only 6.6 percent of the vote, while the radical pro-Russian Vazrazhdane would double its result from the November elections and reach 8.2 percent. Trust in government has fallen 10 percent since January to 26 percent and trust in the work of the National Assembly has similarly dropped from 22 to 15 percent. In other news:
US offers Sofia 8 additional F-16s for 1.673 billion USD
The US Department of State announced it has proposed Congress to give a green light for the sale of a second batch of F-16 Block 70 fighters to Bulgaria. The proposed price is 1.673 billion USD, or 3 billion BGN, which is significantly higher than the previous batch of 8 fighters that the US sold to Bulgaria in 2019 for about 2.2 billion BGN. The new jets, however, would be equipped with more advanced weaponry than the first ones, which are still not in production. It is not yet clear if Bulgaria would have to pay the US in one installment, like in 2019, if Parliament approves the purchase. According to President Rumen Radev, Bulgaria should be ready to spend about 5 billion BGN in total if it wants to have a fully equipped F-16 squadron by the end of the decade, or seek cheaper alternatives.
Finance Ministry lowers GDP growth expectation to 2.6%, interest rate to reach 10.4%
According to the Spring Macroeconomic Prognosis of the Finance Ministry published on Tuesday, inflation in Bulgaria is expected to hit 10.4 percent for 2022, which is five times higher than the autumn forecast of 2.2 percent. This is mainly due to rising food and fuel prices. GDP growth expectations, by contrast, are sliding. Last November it used to be for 4.9 percent growth, but this has now fallen to 2.6 percent because of rising fears of conflict in the region that will affect international tourism and postpone planned foreign investments.
State fails to sell 10.5-year gov't bonds, schedules new one for 11 April
After Monday's auction of 10.5-year government bonds was unprecedentedly canceled due to lack of interest and high yields sought by investors, the state scheduled a new auction for 11 April. The new auction would still seek to sell government bonds worth 500 million BGN, but for debt securities with shorter maturity with higher yields. The announced coupon on the upcoming April 11 T-bill issue is 0%. Investor interest is likely to be higher here, but the price at which the state will finance itself will be even higher than a month ago.