Over the past year, there have been both positive and negative developments concerning the construction and real estate sectors in Bulgaria. In terms of environment, we consider the political crisis that has existed since February 2013 a significant weakness. In April, the IMF reduced only slightly its forecast of the Balkan country’s 2013 economic growth, which however remains below the average growth expected for the CEE. Other weaknesses include dropping retail trade turnover, as well as an unemployment rate above the one in EU 27. On the positive side are strong industrial production and exports data for January to February.
In construction, output recorded positive annual growth in nine months during the period January 2012 – February 2013. The sector’s business climate indicator edged down month on month in March, but remained above the 12-month moving average.
On the negative side, building permits and starts of new building construction both declined in 2012. The average price of dwellings monitored by the statistics office continued to fall in Q1 2013. On the positive side, the sector stock index BG REIT performed significantly better than the blue-chip index SOFIX since end-2011. Another positive development is the opening of four new shopping centres over the period January 2012 – March 2013.
Release Date: Fri, 31 May 2013