Bulgaria’s economy grew by 0.7 per cent in the third quarter of the year, according to preliminary data announced by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) on December 6, slightly below last month’s flash estimate of 0.8 per cent growth. In annual terms, economic growth in the third quarter was 3.4 per cent compared to the same period of last year.
In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria in July-September was 25.34 billion leva, or 12.95 billion euro.
NSI’s preliminary data showed domestic consumption rise by 0.5 per cent compared to the second quarter (it was also up 0.2 per cent compared to the third quarter of last year), while gross fixed capital formation shrank by 0.9 per cent (and was 1.8 per cent lower on an annual basis).
Exports in the third quarter expanded by three per cent, while imports were up by 2.7 per cent, resulting in a trade surplus of 3.04 billion leva. Compared to the third quarter of last year, exports were up 9.5 per cent and imports were 7.5 per cent higher.
The latest economic growth data came on the same day that the Finance Ministry released its revised macroeconomic framework, in which it raised this year’s GDP growth target to 3.2 per cent, up from 2.6 per cent. The ministry said that domestic consumption was the main factor contributing to strong growth, aided by net exports.
Last month, the European Commission said in its autumn forecast that it was raising Bulgaria’s growth estimate for this year to 3.1 per cent from two per cent in its spring forecast, when it said it was expecting a strong drop-off from last year’s three per cent growth.