According to the Fraser Institute’s updated “Economic Freedom of the World” report, Ukraine has left the group of the most economically unfree countries. The report measures the level of support for economic freedom by countries’ institutions and policies in five areas: the size of government, the rule of law and the protection of property rights, sound money, the freedom of international trade, and the regulation of the labor market and business.

Well-intentioned does not automatically mean well-executed. That would be the positive interpretation of the planned EU ban on rebates to stockbrokers. Fear devours stock culture! This might be the negative interpretation of the agreement in principle reached between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. Work is currently underway on the specific regulation.

The need to consolidate public budgets is perhaps already evident, even to those political parties that have long perceived resources as limitless and freely available. Investors worldwide eagerly await opportunities to lend to debt-ridden Slovakia. Consolidation plans are beginning to emerge, the Financial Policy Institute at the Ministry of Finance has published the impact of austerity and tax measures on GDP.

In recent months, the topic of budget deficits has taken center stage in heated debates among economists and politicians, garnering significant attention in the media. In April, the caretaker government proposed a budget with a notable deficit of 6.1% of GDP for 2023. In June, Finance Minister Asen Vasilev proposed a new budget with a negative balance of 3%, which is right at the limit for fiscal stability as set in the Maastricht criteria of the European Commission.

The new government was elected already in June, but it remains to be seen how it will begin to solve the pressing problems caused by the lack of regular governance in the months before. The budget is one such priority, but let’s not forget what happened with the National Recovery and Resilience plan (NRRP). Let’s recall – the plan was adopted two years ago with a significant delay, which was the reason why Bulgaria failed to receive an advance payment for its implementation. 

Already in May, the National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria announced long-awaited news: on a monthly basis, the general consumer price index recorded a decline for the first time since the beginning of the war, and in June, this trend continued, even more noticeably. This has also been accompanied by a cooling down of the annual price change, which has fallen well below its peak since autumn 2022.

“Keep your chin up” is the headline of the June issue of the New Monthly Enterprise Survey, a #NRES conducted by the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting since May 2022. From June 15 to June 30, 2023, the heads of 530 enterprises located in 21 out of 27 regions of Ukraine answered questions about the current state of affairs at enterprises and their expectations for further business development.