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Bulgaria’s 2022 budget revision should provide buffers against refugee wave and inflation

SOFIA (Bulgaria), March 16 (SeeNews) – The planned revision of the Bulgarian state budget for 2022 should provide significant reserves to cope with an expected wave of refugees from Ukraine and the acceleration of the inflation, said Finance Minister Assen Vassilev.

“Europe and the world are very different in terms of trade, supply chains, large groups of resources that are traded,” Vassilev told a conference by business news outlet Capital on Tuesday. He said trade in wheat, fertilizers, gas, oil and metals were among the commodities where volatility is extremely high due to the war in Ukraine.

Therefore, Bulgarian inflation is expected to continue accelerating, Vassilev said.

The macroeconomic framework that underpins the budget will likely be revised, the finance minister added, without citing numbers.

The 2022 finance bill forecasts a deficit equivalent to 4.1% of projected gross domestic product and aims for economic growth of 4.8% and average annual inflation of 5.6%.

The 2022 budget will be updated in the middle of this year under an agreement between the four political forces that form the Bulgarian government coalition.

Bulgaria’s statistical office said on Tuesday, citing preliminary data, consumer prices rose 10% year-on-year in February after a 9.1% annual increase in January.

Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Kalina Konstantinova said earlier this week that 69,735 Ukrainian refugees have entered Bulgaria since February 24, when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.

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