Bulgaria’s economy grew by 0.9 per cent in the third quarter of the year, according to preliminary data announced by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) on December 5, in line with last month’s flash estimate released by the statistics body. In annual terms, economic growth in the third quarter was 3.9 per cent compared to the same period of last year.
In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria in July-September was 26.99 billion leva, or 13.8 billion euro.
NSI’s preliminary data showed domestic consumption rise by 0.9 per cent compared to the second quarter (it was also up 4.3 per cent compared to the third quarter of last year), while gross fixed capital formation shrank by 0.4 per cent (although it rose by 4.3 per cent on an annual basis).
Exports in the third quarter expanded by three per cent, while imports were up by 1.3 per cent, resulting in a trade surplus of 3.36 billion leva. Compared to the third quarter of last year, exports were up 4.1 per cent and imports were 5.1 per cent higher.
The latest projections by Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry, in the three-year macroeconomic framework that accompanied the 2018 Budget Act, envision economic growth reaching four per cent this year, a sharp increase from the 2.5 per cent target set in the 2017 Budget Act, as economic activity this year was pushed up by domestic consumption, according to the ministry.
Last month, the European Commission said in its autumn forecast that it was raising Bulgaria’s growth estimate for this year to 3.9 per cent, a full percentage point higher than in its spring economic growth report. The World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development both estimate that Bulgaria’s economy would expand by 3.8 per cent this year.