Bulgaria’s economic landscape saw the gross external debt ascend to EUR 44,402.6 million by the end of November 2023, marking a 1% increase from the previous year and constituting 46.5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Bulgarian National Bank’s recent report provides a comprehensive overview of the nation’s financial health, offering insights into various sectors and their roles in shaping the debt scenario.

As of November 2023, short-term liabilities accounted for 16.2% of the total debt, amounting to EUR 7,174.2 million, reflecting a notable 16% reduction from the end of November 2022. In contrast, long-term liabilities totaled EUR 37,228.4 million, representing 83.8% of the total debt and exhibiting a 5.1% increase from the previous year.

The general government’s gross external debt, standing at EUR 10,665.1 million, comprised 11.2% of the GDP, showcasing a substantial 25.6% surge from the end of November 2022. This sector-specific analysis sheds light on the economic challenges and opportunities faced by Bulgaria’s public administration.

The external liabilities of the central bank witnessed a decrease of 9.5%, totaling EUR 2,055.7 million, equivalent to 2.2% of the GDP. Similarly, other monetary financial institutions, including banks and money market funds, reported a 5.5% drop in external liabilities, reaching EUR 5,701.8 million or 6% of the GDP.

External debt from other sectors, amounting to EUR 11,651.7 million, constituted 12.2% of the GDP, revealing a 9.8% reduction compared to the previous year. The intercompany lending segment held the largest share in external debt, contributing 32.3% at the end of November 2023.

The net flow for January to September 2023 recorded a positive value of EUR 735.1 million, equivalent to 0.8% of the GDP. However, this reflected a decrease from the positive value of EUR 3,776.4 million recorded during the same period in 2022.

Additionally, the net external debt, with a negative value of EUR 29,953 million, increased by EUR 5,231 million (21.2%) from the end of September 2022. This shift was attributed to a larger increase in gross external assets (7.2%) and a decrease in gross external debt (0.7%).