Bulgaria records minimum growth in Q1, EU still in recession – flash estimates

Bulgaria’s economy posted 0.1 per cent growth in the first quarter of the year, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said in a flash estimate on May 15. Bulgaria was one of 10 EU countries to post positive quarterly growth during that period, but both the EU as a whole and the euro zone posted negative growth, according to a flash estimate by EU’s statistics body Eurostat.

In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria was 16.2 billion leva, or 8.26 billion euro. Compared to the first quarter of 2012, GDP was 0.4 per cent higher.

The flash estimate data showed an increase of three per cent in domestic consumption on an annual basis, as well as a 4.8 per cent rise in gross fixed capital formation. Exports in the first quarter were 8.9 per cent higher than in the first three months of 2012, while imports rose by 4.4 per cent.

Eurostat data showed the EU economy shrinking by 0.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter, while GDP in the 17-member euro zone fell by 0.2 per cent. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the growth rates were -0.5 per cent and -0.6 per cent, respectively, Eurostat said.

A total of 10 countries saw their GDPs expand during the quarter, with Lithuania and Latvia posting the strongest growth at 1.3 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively. Nine countries saw their economies shrink, with Cyprus (-1.3 per cent) and Estonia (-1.0 per cent) hit the worst.

Austria posted flat growth and six countries are yet to report first-quarter data (Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovenia and Sweden). Greece does not calculate quarterly growth rates, but in annual terms its economy shrank by 5.3 per cent in the first quarter.

In annual terms, the EU economy shrank by 0.7 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2012, while the euro zone economy fell by one per cent.

(Photo: svilen001/sxc.hu)



The Sofia Globe staff

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