Bulgaria’s economy grew by 0.8 per cent in the third quarter of the year, according to preliminary data announced by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) on December 5, exceeding the 0.7 per cent flash estimate released by the statistics body last month.
Compared to the same period of 2018, economic growth in the third quarter was 3.7 per cent. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria in July-September was 31.76 billion leva, or 16.24 billion euro.
NSI’s preliminary data showed domestic consumption grow by 0.9 per cent compared to April-June, slowing down from the 1.1 per cent growth rate recorded in the previous quarter. Year-on-year, domestic consumption was 4.9 per cent higher (down from the 5.5 per cent annual growth rate recorded in the second quarter).
Gross fixed capital formation rose by 0.4 per cent in July-September, compared to 0.6 per cent growth registered in the second quarter. In annual terms, gross capital formation rose by 1.8 per cent compared to the same period of 2018 (an increase on the 1.5 per cent annual growth rate registered in the second quarter).
Exports in the third quarter increased by 4.3 per cent, while imports were up 3.9 per cent, resulting in a trade surplus of 4.46 billion leva, or 14 per cent of GDP. Compared to the third quarter of last year, exports were up 1.3 per cent and imports rose by 1.2 per cent.
Bulgaria’s Cabinet has set a 3.7 per cent economic growth target this year in the Budget Act macro-economic framework, after recording 3.1 per cent growth in 2018. The European Commission’s latest estimate, in the autumn forecast, was for 3.6 per cent growth in 2019.