Bulgaria’s economy grew by 0.7 per cent in the first quarter of the year, according to preliminary data announced by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) on June 7. The figure remained unchanged from last month’s flash estimate.
Compared to the same period of 2015, economic growth in the first quarter was 2.9 per cent. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria in January-March was 18.51 billion leva, or 9.47 billion euro.
NSI’s preliminary data showed domestic consumption grow by 0.4 per cent compared to the last quarter of 2015 (and was up 2.1 per cent compared to the first quarter of last year), while gross fixed capital formation shank by 3.5 per cent (as well as being down 3.9 per cent on an annual basis).
Exports in the first quarter were unchanged, while imports fell by 1.2 per cent, resulting in a trade surplus of 67 million leva, or 0.4 per cent of GDP. Compared to the first quarter of last year, exports were up 0.3 per cent and imports were 1.3 per cent lower.
Bulgaria’s Cabinet has set a 2.1 per cent economic growth target this year in the Budget Act macro-economic framework. This would represent a drop from the three per cent mark reached in 2015, when growth was boosted by a concerted government effort to maximise the utilisation EU structural funds from the previous EU budget cycle.