Bulgaria’s economy posted 0.7 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said in a flash estimate on February 14. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria in the last three months of last year was 29.88 billion leva, or 15.28 billion euro.
In annual terms, economic growth in the fourth quarter was 3.1 per cent. NSI is due to announce preliminary growth figures for the fourth quarter and the full year on March 7.
The flash estimate’s seasonally-adjusted data showed an increase of 0.2 per cent in domestic consumption during the fourth quarter (up by 5.3 per cent on an annual basis), along with a 0.3 per cent increase in gross fixed capital formation (which was up by four per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2017).
Exports rose by 2.4 per cent during the fourth quarter (and were up 0.8 per cent compared to the same period of 2017), while imports were 3.3 per cent higher compared to the previous quarter (and 2.5 per cent higher on an annual basis), resulting in a trade deficit of 699 million leva or 2.3 per cent of GDP.
Bulgaria was one of 17 EU countries to record economic growth during the fourth quarter, with the EU economy as a whole and the euro zone both expanding by 0.2 per cent, according to a flash estimate by EU’s statistics body Eurostat. In the previous quarter, the EU28 economy grew by 0.3 per cent and the euro zone’s economy expanded by 0.2 per cent, Eurostat said.
Among the EU member states to report GDP figures, Bulgaria ranked middle of the pack (joint eighth), while Lithuania had the strongest growth at 1.6 per cent, followed by Hungary, Latvia and Cyprus (all on 1.1 per cent).
Eurostat figures showed Germany’s economy was flat, while Italy’s economy shrank by 0.2 per cent, the second straight quarter of decline. Nine countries were yet to report third-quarter data – Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovenia and Sweden.
In annual terms, the EU economy grew by 1.4 per cent compared to Q4 2017, down from 1.8 per cent recorded in the previous quarter, and the euro zone economy grew by 1.2 per cent in annual terms, down from 1.6 per cent recorded in the previous quarter.