On Tuesday the four parties in the ruling majority agreed an approach to deal with the demands of the road construction sector. The cabinet proposed that Parliament allow the Road Construction agency to immediately start paying half of the 1 billion BGN that road companies demand for their open-ended contracts for road maintenance, signed under GERB rule. The other half of the money will be reimbursed after contracts are inspected by the Parliament's Regional Committee. In other news:
Ukraine Foreign Minister visits Bulgaria, Petkov and Zelensky discuss Black Sea security
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba arrived on a visit to Bulgaria and has been holding meetings with Prime Minister Petkov, Foreign Minister Teodora Genchovska and President Rumen Radev throughout Tuesday. During a short press appearance (with no questions allowed), he thanked Bulgaria for welcoming Ukrainian refugees.
It is likely that he will seek additional support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression, since no agreement has been reached yet in the ruling coalition on providing military aid and this issue is yet to be discussed by parliament. Earlier today, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Twitter that they had discussed shipping and security in the Black Sea.
Annual inflation in Bulgaria reaches 12.4%, the highest since the economic crisis of 2008
Annual inflation in Bulgaria reached 12.4 percent in March 2022, the highest level since July 2008 according to data from the National Statistical Institute (NSI) published on Tuesday. The rising inflationary trend has been evident for 13 consecutive months, with prices rising 10 percent in February compared to the same period a year earlier. The month-on-month increase in March was 2.2 percent, NSI said. In its spring macroeconomic forecast, the Ministry of Finance said it expects the average annual inflation in Bulgaria to reach 10.4 percent in 2022.
IMF revises Bulgarian GDP growth levels down to 3.2% for 2022
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its forecast for Bulgaria's economy, envisaging growth of 3.2 percent in 2022. The institution's autumn forecast, when no war was expected and most economists and institutions were betting that inflation would ease in the spring, was for 4.4 percent growth. The IMF joins other institutions in revising anticipated Bulgarian economic growth figures. The World Bank also lowered its forecast by 1.2 percentage points to 2.6 percent in March - the same as the revised forecast of the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance. The National Bank's updated forecast is for growth of 2.1 percent, which is a downward revision of 1.5 percentage points.