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Bulgaria expects a fiscal deficit of 1% of GDP for 2022 by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman shops for food at the Krasno Selo Market, Sofia, Bulgaria November 4, 2022. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria expects the end of 2022 to run a fiscal deficit of 1.5 billion lev ($821.11 million), equivalent to 1.0 percent of economic output, the finance ministry said, surpassing the revised target of 3.4 percent.

Better-than-expected tax collection, increased payments by the country’s energy producers, and weaker capital spending helped the Balkan country reduce its fiscal deficit this year from the 3.0% it recorded in 2021.

Bulgaria, rocked by political instability, has decided to extend its 2022 budget into the new year until a new government is formed and makes its own financial plans for 2023.

The interim government has warned that an increase in state pensions and other social spending in the second half of 2022 amid an imminent economic slowdown means the fiscal deficit will swell to more than 6.6% of economic output in 2023.

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The Finance Ministry said in a statement that weaker investment and delays in tapping into EU funds had reduced the fiscal deficit for 2022, but that spending would carry over into 2023, adding pressure to the budget next year.

The ministry said late on Friday that in the first 11 months of 2022 the country recorded a fiscal deficit of 398 million levs, or 0.2 percent of the year’s economic output. Bulgaria often charges its government expenditures at the end of the year.

The Finance Ministry expects government revenues, supported by higher inflation, to rise to 64.7 billion levs at the end of December from 52.3 billion levs a year earlier, mainly due to higher payments to energy producers.

It expected expenditures to jump to 62.9 billion levs from 54.6 billion levs a year earlier, mainly due to compensation paid to companies to protect them from rising energy costs and increases in some state salaries and pensions.

The data showed that financial reserves, held under the currency system that pegs the lev to the euro, amounted to 12.8 billion lev at the end of November.

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($1 = 1.8268 leva)

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The new energy minister told Reuters that Brazil’s Petrobras will play a leading role in expanding refineries

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A general view of the tanks of Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras after the announcement of updated fuel prices at Brazilian oil company Petrobras in Brasilia, Brazil on June 17, 2022. REUTERS/Osli Marcelino

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s new Energy and Mines Minister Alexandre Silvera said on Monday that state oil company Petrobras will play a leading role in expanding the country’s oil refining sector.

During an official event marking the opening of his new role, Silvera said Petrobras would play a leading role, encouraging other groups to join the process.

“It is urgent that we expand and expand our refineries, transfer them to the country’s regions, and modernize the refineries,” he added.

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First: the fatal strike launched by Ukraine on the Russian military barracks

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good morning. This article is an in situ version of our website FirstFT the news. Subscribe to our site AsiaAnd the Europe/Africa or The Americas A release to send straight to your inbox every weekday morning

Good morning and happy new year. Welcome to the inaugural FirstFT of 2023.

Moscow said a Ukrainian air strike on a military barracks in the Russian-occupied town of Makievka killed 63 soldiers, in the One of the bloodiest blows to the Kremlin ground forces Since the beginning of the war.

The Defense Ministry said four high-explosive missiles hit the town’s temporary deployment base – a school building located near an ammunition depot and weapons cache. It added that the Russian air defenses shot down two additional missiles, without mentioning when the attack took place.

Russian military bloggers indicated that casualties were far greater than the official figures, claiming that hundreds of newly mobilized troops were dead or missing. While the Ukrainian military did not take credit for the strike, it said in a message on Telegram that the Makievka attack took place on New Year’s Eve, leaving 400 Russian servicemen dead and 300 wounded.

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The air strike shows the damage HIMARS, supplied from the west, can do to Russian forces, who were forced to retreat in the face of a Ukrainian counteroffensive to the east and south last year. But it also indicates a tactical miscalculation of the Russian military’s commanders, according to analysts.

  • FT width: The goal for 2023 should be to give Kyiv all the aid it needs to end the conflict — on its own terms, Our editorial board writes.

1. Japan offers families 1 million yen per child to leave Tokyo As the government attempts to reverse decades of demographic decline, economic immigration, and the lure of the world’s largest city, the Japanese government will offer families Up to 1 million yen ($7,600) per child If they swap Tokyo crammed with out-of-town communes, according to officials familiar with the plan.

2. Home sales in Hong Kong fell to their lowest level in 15 years Home sales in Hong Kong fell 40 percent year on year The lowest level since the 2008 global financial crisisData from the local cadastre and forecasts from real estate agencies are shown. One of the world’s most expensive real estate markets is expected to ease into recession by mid-2023.

Hong Kong housing market dips below zero Covid

3. Recession is expected to hit a third of the world this year It will be a third of the global economy out of recession this yearThe head of the International Monetary Fund said, while warning that the world faces a “tougher” year in 2023 than in the previous 12 months. The United States, the European Union and China are all slowing down simultaneously, said Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

4. Turkish exports set a record in 2022 Turkey registered (a) A 13 percent increase in exports by valueYesterday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said sales would reach $254 billion in 2022. The new record comes as the lira’s depreciation has made companies’ products more competitive abroad, with the country also benefiting from close economic ties with Russia.

5. The commodities boom raises fears of big losses for retail investors Retail volumes in commodity futures and the largest commodity-focused mutual funds rose in 2022. But while commodities have had a much better recent track record than stocks and bonds, some market participants and analysts have They expressed concerns about retailers Navigating a highly volatile market dominated by specialized players.

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next day

The new US Congress is sworn in When the 118th US Congress is sworn in on Tuesday, seven new faces will join the ranks of the 100-member Senate. Get to know the newcomersamong them a hoodie-wearing stroke survivor, a Trump-backed author and a former mixed martial arts fighter.

In memory of Pele family Burial contract The Brazilian soccer star after marching through Sao Paulo. Worldwide in the Vatican, will Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI lie in state in the Vatican. (independent, AP)

What else do we read

Business trends, risks and people to watch in 2023 Financial Times correspondents around the world detail what to look out for this year in the corporate world in sectors from energy to private capital and technology. Read our analysis to get a jump start in the new year.

Millennials are breaking the oldest rule in politics People tend to become more conservative as they get older. From the “Silent Generation,” born between 1928 and 1945, to the “Generation X,” who came between 1965 and 1980, this pattern has remained consistent—until now. change him Surprising implications for UK Conservatives and US Republicans.

Graph shows that millennial voters in the UK and US do not follow the usual pattern of becoming more conservative as they age

Experts say Taiwan’s military reforms fall short China’s push for more than two decades to build an armed force capable of realizing its national ambitions has left the Taiwanese military in a precarious position. And the island’s recently announced conscription reform was more than an emergency measure To end the chronic shortage of military personnel, military analysts say.

Startups looking for a cure for aging The fantasy of living forever has been going on for centuries, from finding regeneration in the Fountain of Youth to gaining immortality from the Philosopher’s Stone. But with so many people now spending their last decades in poor health, scientists are on a quest to do more Not only increased lifespan but also Healthspan: the number of healthy years we live.

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Halting China’s growth cannot be the goal of the West Do we want China to fail? This question was asked at a recent seminar attended by Gideon Rachman for Western policymakers and commentators. But the question instead should be: How do we manage China’s continued rise? Gideon writes.

Take a break from the news

The clue 1-across to the latest cryptic crossword puzzle is: Mists shrouds the river in flood (6). See if you can guess the answer.

Thank you for reading and remembering that you can Add FirstFT to myFT. You can also choose to receive a FirstFT push notification every morning on the app. Send your recommendations and feedback to firstft@ft.com

asset Management – Discover the inside story on the movers and shakers behind a multi-billion dollar industry. Participation here

next week Start each week by reviewing what’s on the agenda. Participation here


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Syria weakens the official exchange rate by Reuters

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© Reuters. File photo: A picture of stacks of Syrian pounds inside a currency store in Azaz, Syria, on February 3, 2020. The photo was taken on February 3, 2020. (Reuters) / Khalil Ashawi

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – A statement by the Syrian Central Bank said on Monday that Syria had eased its official exchange rate to 4,522 pounds per dollar, while the black market rates used in most economic activities amounted to about 6,500 pounds.

The official price was previously set at 3015.

An economic crisis has arisen in the country due to years of conflict, Western sanctions and currency pressures due to the financial collapse in neighboring Lebanon and the government’s loss of its oil-producing lands in the country’s northeast.

The resulting collapse of the lira has pushed up commodity prices and exacerbated hardship as Syrians struggle to buy food, electricity and other essentials.

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Fuel became particularly scarce, forcing the government to further ration electricity and even close public buildings on weekdays.

The pound was trading at 47 against the dollar before protests against President Bashar al-Assad broke out in March 2011.

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