The European bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has lowered its annual economic growth forecast for Bulgaria from 3.1% to 2.3% in 2011.
"Bulgaria emerged from recession last year but the pace of recovery in the first half of 2011 seems to be slowing slightly. Year-on-year industrial production growth has dropped since the first quarter though it remains robust at 9.4% in June," says a report of the bank.
The EBRD operates in the Balkans, Turkey, Central and Eastern Europe, former Soviet countries and Central Asia. In its Regional Economic Prospects report, it said the area's 29 economies should grow by 4.8% this year.
Its previous forecast, back in May, predicted a 4.6% growth rate. The 2012 forecast was unchanged at 4.4%.
However, 'an escalation of the eurozone crisis would pose serious risks to growth and recovery across the region, especially in south-eastern Europe and the new European Union members,' EBRD Chief Economist Erik Berglof said in a statement.
The International Monetary Fund said earlier this year it expects Bulgaria's economy to grow 3% at the end of 2011 as a global recovery boosts exports demand in the EU.
The IMF forecast for the Bulgarian economy in 2011 is below the 3.6% growth projected by the Bulgarian government in its 2011 budget./Source: Sofia News Agency/