There is optimism, but more moderate than a year ago, according to a study of Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA)
Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) expects Bulgarian gross domestic product to grow by 3.8% in 2019 and the total cost of employers per work hour for an employee in the country to grow by 8.4%. This assumption is made on the basis of analysis on statistical data of the capacity of Bulgarian economy, expectations for development of the labor market in Bulgaria and the results of the annual survey conducted by BICA among its members.
55% of the respondents expect the sales of the enterprises to increase in 2019, while 32% expect to keep the levels of 2018. The data is similar for the expected financial results in 2019. 47% think that they will increase their profits next year, while 36% said they would reach the amount realized in 2018.
There are serious expectations for a growth of wages in the private sector and creation of new jobs. More than 60% of the managers, which took part in the survey said they expect an increase of the wages in their companies and 40% of them believe they will create new jobs. About 40% of the managers intend to increase investments in their business.
Despite the optimistic expectations for 2019, it should be noted that an year earlier, Bulgarian entrepreneurs were more optimistic about the development of their business. The cooling in the attitudes of entrepreneurs is observed mainly for the expected financial results they can achieve, the investments they would make and the increase in the remuneration in their companies.
Every second of the respondents considers that a minimum wage should be at the amount of 510 BGN Levs or lower. 60% responded that the maximum insured income should be maintained at the amount of 2600 BGN Levs.
According to the data of Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association, the factors influencing expectations of the business and preventing more tangible economic growth in the next year are labor shortages, the administrative minimum wage determinagtion and the insurance thresholds, the lack of working e- management.
At the beginning of October BICA sent recommendations to the government regarding the preparation of the draft of new budget framework. Among the BICA recommendations are the need for realistic budget revenue planning and zero budget deficits, as well as speeding the restructuring and reduction of budgets of some ministries. The Association asked for a budget of 2019 to provide tools and incentives to accelerate reforms in the labor market, education, energy sector, judiciary, health, security and retirement provision. The Association is strongly against the administrative definition of minimum wage, raising the maximum insurable earning and increasing the amount of social benefits and benefits for healthy people in working age.