Bulgaria: Economic growth picks up in Q3
December 8, 2017
According to revised data released on 5 December by the National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria, the economy expanded 3.9% annually in the third quarter, matching the preliminary estimate. Growth in Q3 came in above Q2’s 3.7% year-on-year increase and was supported by the domestic economy.
Growth in the domestic economy was spearheaded by sharp expansions in private consumption and fixed investment. Private consumption recorded a strong 4.6% year-on-year increase in Q3, an acceleration from Q2’s 4.0% growth. The acceleration was buttressed by declining unemployment and higher wages. Growth in fixed investment sped up from 3.9% to 4.3% (previously reported: +4.2% year-on-year) amid the resumption of EU investment funds. In contrast, public consumption expanded at a softer pace in the third quarter (Q3: +1.8% yoy; Q2: +2.6% yoy). Overall, total consumption expanded 4.3% in the third quarter, coming in above the previous quarter’s 3.8% rise.
On the external side of the economy, export growth edged up from 3.7% in annual terms in Q2 to 4.1% in Q3 (previously reported: +4.4% yoy). Meanwhile, growth in imports moderated from a 6.5% increase in Q2 to 5.1% in Q3 (previously reported: +6.2% yoy). As growth in imports outpaced growth in exports, the external sector’s contribution to economic growth deteriorated.
Bulgaria GDP Forecast
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect GDP to expand 3.5% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. In 2019, panelists see the economy growing 3.3%.