Bulgarian economy shrank by 9.8% in Q2 2020 – flash estimate

Bulgaria’s economy declined by 9.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said in a flash estimate on August 14. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria in April-June was 27.06 billion leva, or 13.83 billion euro.

In annual terms, the economic drop in the second quarter was 8.2 per cent, compared to the same period of 2019. NSI is due to announce preliminary growth figures for the quarter on September 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 State of Emergency remained in force until May 13, when it was followed by the declaration of an epidemic. That declaration has been extended several times, most recently to end-August.

The flash estimate’s seasonally-adjusted data showed domestic consumption fall by 2.1 per cent during the second quarter, but it was 0.4 per cent higher on an annual basis. Gross fixed capital formation declined by 4.3 per cent and was 3.8 per cent down compared to the second quarter of 2019.

Exports fell by 23.4 per cent during April-June (and were were 20.3 per cent lower compared to the same period of 2019), while imports declined by 21.3 per cent compared to the previous quarter (and were 20 per cent lower on an annual basis). The country recorded a trade surplus of 598 million leva the quarter, NSI said.

Bulgaria was one of 20 EU countries to record an economic decline during the second quarter of the year, but it was in the upper half of the table, among the 10 countries to post a slump in the single digits.

The EU economy as a whole fell by 11.7 per cent and the euro zone shrank by 12.1 per cent in the second quarter, according to a flash estimate by EU’s statistics body Eurostat, compared to the previous quarter, when the EU27 economy fell by 3.2 per cent and the 19-member euro zone was down by 3.6 per cent.

Seven countries were yet to report second-quarter estimates – Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia.

In annual terms, the EU economy declined by 14.1 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2019, while the euro zone economy was down by 15 per cent. These were by far the sharpest declines observed since Eurostat started tracking the indicator in 1995.

(Photo: Pedro Moura Pinheiro/flickr.com)

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