Bulgaria’s economy posted 0.7 per cent growth in the first quarter of the year, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said in a flash estimate on May 13. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria in January-March was 17.9 billion leva, or 9.17 billion euro.
In annual terms, economic growth was 2.9 per cent, slightly lower than the three per cent annual growth recorded at the end of the fourth quarter of 2015. NSI is due to announce preliminary growth figures for the first quarter of 2015 on June 7.
The flash estimate data showed an increase of 2.4 per cent in domestic consumption on an annual basis, which offset a 3.6 per cent declilne in gross fixed capital formation. Exports were 0.3 per cent lower on an annual basis (as well as 0.4 per cent down compared to the previous quarter), while imports declined by 2.8 per cent on an annual basis and 2.4 per cent compared to Q4 2015.
Bulgaria was one of 15 EU countries to record economic growth during the first quarter, with the EU economy as a whole and the euro zone both posting growth of 0.5 per cent, according to a flash estimate by EU’s statistics body Eurostat. In the previous quarter, the EU28 growth rate was 0.4 per cent and the euro zone’s economy expanded by 0.3 per cent, Eurostat said.
Among the 20 EU member states to report GDP figures, Bulgaria ranked fourth, tied with Germany and Slovakia, while Romania had the strongest growth at 1.6 per cent, followed by Cyprus (0.9 per cent), Spain and Lithuania (at 0.8 per cent each).
Four countries reported economic decline – Greece, Latvia, Hungary and Poland – and Estonia had flat growth, while eight countries were yet to report first-quarter data (Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovenia and Sweden).
In annual terms, the EU economy grew by 1.7 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2015, while the euro zone economy was up by 1.5 per cent.
(Photo: Michael Faes/sxc.hu)