European Commission: "Bulgarian exports and economy are slowing down sharply"
Consumption in Bulgaria is expected to remain weak in 2023 and then pick up gradually in 2024 as inflationary pressures ease, according to the European Commission.
The Commission also expects that by the end of this year, and throughout next year, export growth will slow due to reduced external demand before recovering in 2024. This will, in turn, affect Bulgaria's foreign exchange earnings - the deficit in the current account will almost triple (from 1.2% to 3% of GDP) in 2023 and then continue to grow to 3.2% of GDP in 2024. Compared to last year, this is more than a 6-fold increase.
Average salaries see big summer hike
The average gross salary increased by 14.7% in the period July - September compared to the same months last year, according to the National Statistical Institute.
The biggest increase in wages in the third quarter was in the areas of agriculture, forestry and fisheries - by 17.8%, state administration; state social insurance and trade, repair of cars and motorcycles - by 17.3%.
Compared to the same period the previous year, the average monthly salary in the third quarter of 2022 in the public sector increased by 12.5%, while the private sector saw a rise of 15.4%.
Pet market grows exponentially
The pet food market in Bulgaria reached 90 million euro last year, of which 50.7 million euros were sales through grocery stores, and 39.3 million euro were from specialized pet stores. There is no accurate information about e-commerce sales, but the segment is estimated at approximately 20-30 million euros.
Meanwhile, the sector for specialized retail trade of animal products is estimated at 120 million levs. The leader in the sector, Dr. Stefanov's Non-Human Shops, which has an 18 percent market share in the industry, records a doubling of profits from 2020 to 2021.
The company's revenues during 2020 were 12.9 million levs, a big jump from 8.8 million levs in 2019. This year is the strongest for their business so far with revenues of 19.5 million levs.