Market Report, "Bulgaria Retail Report Q2 2014", published

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Fri May 23 2014

We have made a modest downward revision to our forecast for total Bulgarian household spending to 2018. Having forecast growth of 23.9% last quarter, we now expect total spending growth of 22.6% to BGN59bn. A relatively immature retail sector will continue to provide investors with opportunities to secure 'catch-up' growth, while February retail sales data also provides cause for optimism, and as such, risks to our retail forecasts are weighted to the upside. Nonetheless, a modest economic growth forecast for 2014, still-high unemployment levels and a very weak demographic picture continue to dominate our forecasts and ensure that Bulgaria remains at the foot of our regional Risk/Reward Ratings for the regional sector.

Full Report Details at

Key BMI Forecasts

* Total household spending in Bulgaria is forecast to increase by 22.6% to BGN59bn in 2018.
* We expect household goods expenditure to witness the strongest growth over this forecast period, expanding by 34.1% in local currency terms, with spending on household appliances the primary driver.
* Food and beverage spending will experience the most modest growth, expanding by only 14.5% in local currency terms, as strong competition from the traditional retail sector limits customer numbers and keeps prices low.
* We forecast Bulgaria's population to decline by 3.9% to 6.94mn by 2018, with household numbers dropping by a very significant 7.0%. These demographic challenges will weigh very heavily on the retail sector.
* Bulgarian unemployment is expected to decline from 11.3% in 2013 to a still-elevated 10.3% in 2014.
* Bulgaria remains in last place in BMI's Retail Risk/Reward Ratings for the Central and Eastern European region.
* Bulgaria has a large and thriving traditional retail sector and the country's ageing population means that we expect traditional retail to remain a strong competitor to modern retail channels over the coming years.

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