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World Bank report: Bulgaria's export growth among highest in EU's new members

Bulgarian export grew at much higher rates than the one in most new EU member states, recent economic report of the World Bank showed.

World Bank's report is named EU 8+2 and provides data on the eight countries from Central and Eastern Europe that joined EU in 2004, excluding Malta and Cyprus. Current growth rates are unlikely to be sustained according to the May edition of the bank's regular economic report on the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania, known as the EU 8+2.

Production growth increased in all 10 monitored countries in 2006. Over the course of 2006 output growth gained pace in most of the Eastern European member states, except Hungary. It, however, is expected to slow down in 2007. Production growth increased in Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania while it remained almost unchanged in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Lithuania. Labor market restrictions in 2006 led to increase of salaries in Baltic countries and Romania. Estonia registered a salary increase of 11.3%, Latvia of 15.6% while the increase in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria varied between 3.3 and 4.1%.

Foreign current account deficit in all countries continued increasing. The steady increase of export combined with increasing demand on the domestic markets led to increase of current account deficits by more than 15% of the GDP in Latvia, Estonia and Bulgaria. (