Bulgaria records 3.4% economic growth in 2022

Bulgaria’s economy grew by 3.4 per cent last year, based on preliminary data, the country’s National Statistics Institute (NSI) said on March 8. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022 was 165.4 billion leva in current prices, or 84.6 billion euro.

In the fourth quarter, Bulgaria’s economy grew by 0.6 per cent compared to the previous quarter and was 2.3 per cent higher year-on-year. In real terms, GDP in the last three months of 2022 was 47.4 billion leva or 24.25 billion euro.

The full-year economic growth figure fell short of both the Cabinet’s 4.8 per cent target set in the 2022 Budget Act and the European Commission’s 3.9 per cent estimate, which it made in its winter economic forecast last month.

This was also lower than the 4.2 per cent economic growth recorded in 2021. NSI’s statistics releases do not, as a rule, include analysis of trends and the statistics body made no mention of the impact that the Russian invasion of Ukraine had on Bulgaria’s economy.

NSI’s preliminary data gave a breakdown by key growth components only for the last quarter of 2022, not the full year.

The data showed domestic consumption rose by two per cent in the fourth quarter compared to Q3 and was 5.8 per cent higher on an annual basis. Gross fixed capital formation was up 1.6 per cent on a quarterly basis and 1.1 per cent year-on-year.

Exports in the fourth quarter rose by 1.5 per cent, while imports were 1.9 per cent higher. Year-on-year, exports were up nine per cent, while imports were 9.3 per cent higher.

In real terms, the fourth-quarter trade deficit was 1.39 billion leva, or 2.9 per cent of GDP, while the full-year trade balance showed a surplus of 1.33 billion leva, the equivalent of 0.8 per cent of GDP.

(Photo: Steve Ford/sxc.hu)

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