Bulgaria's Economic Freedom Worsens - Heritage, WSJ Ranking

Business | January 12, 2012, Thursday // 13:24|  views

Snapshot from heritage.org/Index

Bulgaria has moved down one place in the global Economic Freedom ranking of the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.

Thus, Bulgaria has slipped to the 61st position, down form the 60th a year ago, shows the newly-released Heritage Foundation and WSJ Economic Freedom Index for 2012.

"Bulgaria has weathered the impact of the global economic downturn relatively well, with the economy supported by generally prudent public finance management. Continued reform to strengthen the foundations of economic freedom, however, will be indispensable in ensuring vibrant economic development in coming years. Lingering corruption and the weak rule of law have added to the cost of conducting business," the Heritage Foundation and WSJ report on Bulgaria in the 2012 Economic Freedom Index explains.

Bulgaria's overall economic freedom score is 64.7, which is a decline of 0.2 percentage points; in comparison with last year's score, it has registered improvement under three of the 10 criteria, and deterioration under four of the criteria.

"Bulgaria's economic freedom score is 64.7, making its economy the 61st freest in the 2012 Index. Its overall score is down slightly, reflecting deterioration in freedom from corruption, government spending, and business freedom. Bulgaria is ranked 27th out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is above the world average but below the regional average," the report elaborates.

"Bulgaria's transition to a more open and flexible economic system has been facilitated by substantial restructuring measures over the past decade. While maintaining macroeconomic stability, it has made considerable progress in income growth and poverty reduction. Competitive flat tax rates and a competitive trade regime, supported by a relatively efficient regulatory framework, have encouraged the development of a growing entrepreneurial sector," it adds.

In the 2012 ranking, Bulgaria is just ahead of its neighbor Romania and one spot behind Thailand. It is also ahead of Trinidad and Tobago, Poland, and Kazakhstan, which are placed 63rd-65th.

The overall list is topped by Hong Kong (1st), Singapore (2nd), Australia (3rd), New Zealand (4th) and Switzerland (5th). The USA has slipped to 10th place.

The least free economies are Zimbabwe (180th), Cuba (181st), Libya (182nd), Eritrea (183rd), and North Korea (184th).

A joint project of The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, the Index of Economic Freedom ranks countries on a 1-100 scale according to 10 categories that evaluate economic openness, competitiveness and the rule of law. The 10 scores then are averaged to produce an overall score for each country.

The full report on Bulgaria of the 2012 Economic Freedom Index of the Heritage Foundation and The WSJ can be read HERE.

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Tags: economic freedom, WSJ, Wall Street Journal, Heritage Foundation


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