SOFIA, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s central bank said on Tuesday the impact of the coronavirus on the Bulgarian economy this year would be less harsh than initially expected and revised its GDP forecast to a contraction of 5.5% from a previously expected decline of 8.5%.
The bank said the slower contraction this year and expected more moderate demand for Bulgarian exports over the next two years will slow the rate of the economic recovery. It cut its forecast of GDP growth in 2021 to 4% from a previous forecast of 5.1%.
The central bank sees the Balkan country returning to its 2019 growth level by the middle of 2022.
“Compared to our previous forecast based on data up to June 22, the real GDP is expected to mark a lower decline in 2020 and economic activity to register weaker growth in 2021–2022,” it said in a statement.