Bulgaria’s economy grew by one per cent in the second quarter of the year, according to preliminary data announced by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) on September 5, exceeding last month’s flash estimate of 0.9 per cent growth.
Compared to the same period of 2016, economic growth in the second quarter was 3.6 per cent. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria in April-June was 24.15 billion leva, or 12.35 billion euro.
NSI’s preliminary data showed domestic consumption grow by 0.4 per cent compared to January-March, slowing down from 1.9 per cent growth rate recorded in the previous quarter. Year-on-year, domestic consumption was 4.2 per cent higher in April-June (and only a small decline from the 4.3 per cent annual growth figure recorded in the first quarter).
Gross fixed capital formation rose by 2.3 per cent in the second quarter, compared to 0.6 per cent decline registered in the first three months of the year. In annual terms, gross capital formation in April-June shrank by one per cent compared to the same period of 2016 (an improvement over the 4.6 per cent annual decline registered in the previous quarter).
Exports in the second quarter rose by two per cent, while imports were up by 1.1 per cent, resulting in a trade surplus of 312 million leva, or 1.3 per cent of GDP. Compared to the second quarter of last year, exports were up 6.5 per cent and imports were 7.7 per cent higher.
Bulgaria’s Cabinet has set a 2.5 per cent economic growth target this year in the Budget Act macro-economic framework, but Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said in May that reworked estimates put growth closer to three per cent this year. The European Commission’s latest estimate, in its spring forecast, was for 2.9 per cent growth in 2017.