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National Statistical Institute registers slight improvement in business climate in Bulgaria

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After a dramatic decline in August 2022, one month later there is an albeit slight improvement in the business climate in industry, retail trade and services. At the same time a rise in prices is expected in all economic spheres in the coming months.

According to the latest National Statistical Institute (NSI) analysis, the total business climate indicator in September is up by 0.8 points compared to August when it marked a significant drop – by 3.4 points. The business climate indicator in industry is up by 0.5 points after a 3.4 point drop a month earlier. However, the assessment of the current production activity is more reserved, with a deterioration of the outlook in the next three months. In September 2022, the business climate in construction marked a 1.1-point decline after a certain amount of stabilization in July, with more pessimistic estimates by building contractors for the next 6 months. The number of late payment customers has been growing.

The uncertain economic environment, the prices of materials and the staff shortages are cited as the principal problems for the development of activity. As to sales prices, 42% of building contractors say they expect a rise in the coming three months.

In September, retail trade marked a 2.6-point increase after a 9-point decline in August. Estimates regarding the volumes of sales and orders to suppliers over the next three months are also more positive, according to the NSI business analysis.  The main obstacle continues to be the uncertain economic environment and the competition in the sector. In the next three months, 39.6% of retail traders expect an increase in sales prices. In the services sector, a 1.6-point increase has been registered in September after a 1.1-point decline in August. The current tendency is assessed as favourable but the outlook for the next three months remains reserved. 

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