Bulgaria’s economy recorded 0.5 per cent growth in the third quarter of the year, compared to the second quarter, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said on December 4. Compared to the same period of 2012, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) was 0.7 per cent higher.
Economic growth resumed after dipping in the second quarter, when the economy shrank by 0.1 per cent compared to the first three months of the year. Before that, Bulgaria posted three consecutive quarters of minimal 0.1 per cent growth.
In real terms, GDP in the third quarter was 21.59 billion leva, or 11.04 billion euro.
The NSI data showed domestic consumption rise by 0.2 per cent in the third quarter, a second straight quarter of growth, while gross fixed capital formation increased by 0.1 per cent.
Exports increased by 3.5 per cent on a quarterly basis, while imports rose by 2.3 per cent. The trade balance in the second quarter showed a surplus of 1.93 billion leva.
NSI does not provide cumulative data for the first nine months of the year, but, short of strong recovery in the last quarter, Bulgaria appears set to miss the one per cent economic growth figure targeted by the Government.
Initially, Bulgaria set a target of 1.9 per cent in its 2013 Budget, but that forecast was downgraded to one per cent in April. The new target was confirmed again in August, when the 2013 Budget was officially revised.
The third-quarter data showed Bulgaria was the sixth-fastest growing economy among 23 European Union states for which statistics office Eurostat announced economic growth data on December 4.
GDP rose by 0.2 per cent in the EU28 and 0.1 per cent in the euro zone, the second consecutive quarter of growth in the common currency area after 17 months of recession.
Romania (1.6 per cent) and Latvia (1.2 per cent) recorded the highest growth compared with the previous quarter, followed by Hungary and the United Kingdom (both 0.8 per cent), Eurostat said. Cyprus (-0.8 per cent), the Czech Republic (-0.5 per cent), France and Italy (both -0.1 per cent) were the only countries to register decreases. Data for Ireland, Greece, Croatia, Luxembourg and Malta was not available.