Bulgaria’s National Statistics Institute said on September 4 that the country’s economy shrank by 0.1 per cent in the second quarter of the year, confirming the figures published in a flash estimate last month.
Compared to the same period of 2012, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) was 0.2 per cent higher. In real terms, GDP in the second quarter was 19.4 billion leva, or 9.92 billion euro.
NSI’s data showed domestic consumption rise by one per cent in the second quarter, but gross fixed capital formation shrank by 2.4 per cent.
Exports in the second quarter were 2.3 compared to the first three months of the year, slightly outpaced by imports, which rose by 2.4 per cent. The trade balance in the second quarter showed a deficit of 830 million leva, the equivalent of 4.3 per cent of GDP.
The latest figure comes only a day after Finance Minister Petar Chobanov downgraded the growth target for this year to 0.6-0.8 per cent. This was the second downward revision by Bulgaria this year, after the finance minister in the caretaker cabinet, Kalin Hristov, cut the growth target to one per cent.
The initial target, as set in the 2013 Budget Act, was 1.9 per cent.
Despite the slower than expected growth this year, the current government maintained the 1.8 per cent target for 2014, Chobanov said, based on expectations of improved domestic demand, a better business climate and increased investment.