Bulgarian consumer confidence decreased in July 2016 – poll

Bulgarian consumer confidence decreased in July 2016 – poll

Sofia, August 5, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of The Sofia Globe

Bulgaria’s consumer confidence indicator was 0.6 percentage points lower in July 2016 than in April, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said on August 5, reporting the results of a regular poll held every three months.

The decrease was in contrast to a slight rise that the Bulgarian consumer confidence survey had found in April, compared with January.

The July 2016 result was driven down mainly by decreased confidence among consumers living in Bulgaria’s cities, according to the NSI. Among Bulgarians living in rural areas, opinions were unchanged compared with April, the institute said.

Overall, consumers in Bulgaria were less negative about how the economic situation in the country had developed than they had been in April. This raised the balance indicator by 1.6 percentage points.

However, there was some pessimism in their expectations for the next 12 months, the NSI said.

Consumers continued to consider that over the past 12 months, there had been an increase of consumer prices, but at a lower rate compared to the opinions expressed in the previous poll.

At the same time, consumers’ inflation expectations about the next 12 months had strengthened, the NSI said.

Their expectations about unemployment in the country over the next 12 months were also more negative in comparison with April.

Residents of cities were more negative in their assessments and expectations about their household financial situations, while in rural areas, there was a “certain optimism,” the NSI said.

At the same time, the most recent poll found a slight improvement in opinions among consumers about whether they would be able to make major purchases of durable goods.

Bulgaria’s consumer confidence indicator was 1.8 percentage points higher in April than in January, the NSI said at the time. The increase in consumer confidence was higher among the rural population than among the urban population, two percentage points against 1.6 percentage points, the NSI said.