Bulgaria’s economy grew by 3.1 per cent last year, based on preliminary data, the country’s National Statistics Institute (NSI) said on March 7. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 was 107.9 billion leva in current prices, or 55.2 billion euro.
In the fourth quarter, Bulgaria’s economy grew by 0.8 per cent compared to the previous quarter and 3.2 per cent year-on-year. In real terms, GDP in the last three months of 2018 was 29.8 billion leva or 15.2 billion euro.
NSI’s preliminary data gave a breakdown by key growth components only for the last quarter of 2018, not the full year.
Fourth-quarter figures showed domestic consumption shrink for the first time in four years, on a quarterly basis, declining by 0.1 per cent compared to the previous three months, but was five per cent up on an annual basis. Gross fixed capital formation in the fourth quarter increased by 2.8 per cent and was 6.6 per cent higher on an annual basis.
Exports in the fourth quarter rose by 3.1 per cent, while imports increased by 2.4 per cent (year-on-year, exports were 1.4 per cent higher and imports rose by 1.6 per cent). In real terms, the fourth-quarter trade deficit was 641 million leva, but the full-year trade balance showed a surplus of 915 million leva, the equivalent of 0.9 per cent of GDP.