Bulgaria’s economy posted 0.9 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 17.1 billion leva, or 8.76 billion euro.
In annual terms, economic growth was two per cent, rising up from 1.3 per cent annual growth recorded at the end of the fourth quarter of 2014. NSI is due to announce preliminary growth figures for the first quarter of 2015 on June 5.
The flash estimate data showed an increase of 0.6 per cent in domestic consumption on an annual basis, as well as a 2.6 per cent rise in gross fixed capital formation. Exports were 9.1 per cent higher on an annual basis (growing by 1.2 per cent compared to the previous quarter), while imports rose by 4.9 per cent.
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 0.4 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 19 EU member states to report GDP figures, Bulgaria ranked third, tied with Spain, while Romania and Cyprus posted the strongest growth at 1.6 per cent.
Four countries reported economic decline – Greece (now officially in recession after two quarters of negative economic growth), Estonia, Lithuania and Finland (also in recession) – while nine countries were yet to report first-quarter data (Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden).
The EU’s largest economies all recorded growth, with France posting a higher-than-expected 0.6 per cent increase in the first quarter, while Germany, UK and Italy all reported 0.3 per cent growth.
In annual terms, the EU economy grew by 1.4 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2014, while the euro zone economy was up by one per cent.
(Photo: Alessandro Paiva/sxc.hu)