Bulgaria’s economy posted 0.8 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2018, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said in a flash estimate on May 15. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria in the first three months of the year was 21.24 billion leva, or 10.86 billion euro.
In annual terms, economic growth in the first quarter was 3.5 per cent. NSI is due to announce preliminary growth figures for the quarter on June 7.
The flash estimate’s seasonally-adjusted data showed domestic consumption shrink by 0.4 per cent during the first quarter (but was 2.4 per cent higher on an annual basis), which was offset by a 4.8 per cent increase in gross fixed capital formation (which was also up by 7.2 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2017).
Exports rose by 1.3 per cent during the first quarter (and were 4.6 per cent higher compared to the same period of 2017), while imports declined by 0.1 per cent compared to the previous quarter (yet were 6.8 per cent higher on an annual basis). The trade gap in the first quarter was negative and stood at 1.18 billion leva, or 5.6 per cent of GDP.
Bulgaria was one of 19 EU countries to record economic growth during the first quarter of the year, with the EU economy as a whole and the euro zone both posting 0.4 per cent growth, according to a flash estimate by EU’s statistics body Eurostat. This was a slowdown from the previous quarter, when the EU28 economy expanded by 0.6 per cent and the 19-member euro zone grew by 0.7 per cent, Eurostat said.
Bulgaria ranked tied for sixth among EU member states, with Latvia topping the list (1.7 per cent), followed by Poland (1.6 per cent), Hungary and Finland (1.2 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively). Eight countries were yet to report first-quarter estimates – Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovenia and Sweden.
In annual terms, the EU economy grew by 2.4 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2017, while the euro zone economy was up by 2.5 per cent.