Bulgaria records 0.3% economic growth in Q1 2020 – flash estimate

Bulgaria’s economy posted 0.3 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2020, 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 25.15 billion leva, or 12.86 billion euro.

In annual terms, economic growth in the first quarter was 2.4 per cent. NSI is due to announce preliminary growth figures for the quarter on June 4.

NSI made no reference to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted Bulgaria to declare a State of Emergency on March 13, shutting down parts of its economy as it introduced social distancing and anti-epidemic measures.

The flash estimate’s seasonally-adjusted data showed domestic consumption shrink by 0.1 per cent during the first quarter (but was 4.1 per cent higher on an annual basis), while gross fixed capital formation fell by 0.9 per cent (and was down 5.3 per cent year-on-year).

Exports rose by 0.1 per cent during the first quarter (and were 1.1 per cent higher compared to the same period of 2019), while imports declined by 0.2 per cent compared to the previous quarter (and were 0.6 per cent lower on an annual basis).

The country recorded a trade surplus of 149.9 million leva the first quarter, the equivalent of 0.6 per cent of GDP NSI said.

Bulgaria was one of only three EU countries to record economic growth during the first quarter of the year, with seven countries yet to report data and the rest all in decline, according to a flash estimate by EU’s statistics body Eurostat.

EU countries that were hit the worst by the pandemic posted the worst declines – France’s economy shrank by 5.8 per cent in the first quarter, Spain by 5.2 per cent and Italy by 4.7 per cent. Germany’s economy was down 2.2 per cent.

The EU economy as a whole declined by 3.3 per cent and the euro zone economy shrank by 3.8 per cent. On an annual basis, the EU was down 2.7 per cent and the euro zone economy decreased by 3.2 per cent, Eurostat said.

(Illustration: svilen001/sxc.hu)

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