Bulgaria retains its second place in the EU among the countries with the lowest debt, according to the latest official data from Eurostat from July 2023. This was announced by the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

At the end of the first quarter of 2023, the general government debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 22.5%, with only Estonia having a lower debt. All other 25 member states have higher levels of debt, with an EU average of 83.7%, the MoF statement added.

And more: In 2017, Bulgaria’s debt level was 25.1% of GDP, in 2018 – 22.1%, in 2019 – 20.0%, in 2020 – 24.5%, in 2021 – 23.9%, in 2022 – 22.9%, and by the end of 2023 it is expected to be around 22.0%.

With the Law on the State Budget for 2023 adopted by the National Assembly on 28.07 of this year, a maximum level of the new state debt of 7.5 billion leva is foreseen. Of this, approximately 3 billion leva is needed for refinancing of debt in circulation, which the caretaker government already fulfilled in January this year, including for the maturity of 7-year Eurobonds issued in March 2016 and for the maturity of 10.5-year domestic government securities, issued in January 2013.

The remaining approximately 4.5 billion leva is intended to finance the cash deficit of 2.5% of GDP, pledged and voted in the budget.

In addition to the persistent trend of reducing relative debt levels, Bulgaria is moving up the EU ranking among countries with the lowest debt. Until 2017, Bulgaria was in third place in the EU, but in 2018 it displaced Luxembourg and the country now occupies second place, the announcement states.