Bulgaria: Economic growth slows in the third quarter
December 6, 2011
In the third quarter, GDP expanded 1.6% over the same period last year, according to the revised estimate released by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) on 6 December. The reading came in a notch above the 15 November preliminary estimate of a 1.3% rise, but was below the 2.0% expansion registered in the second quarter. In comparison with the previous quarter, GDP expanded 0.3% in seasonally and working-day adjusted terms, unchanged from the previous quarter. The quarterly reading reflected a weaker external sector, whereas private consumption improved (Q3: +1.7 year-on-year, Q2: +1.4% yoy). Meanwhile, gross fixed capital formation dropped 2.8% year-on-year (Q2: +8.4% yoy). The external sector's net contribution to overall economic growth deteriorated markedly, as acceleration of imports outpaced weaker exports growth. Exports of goods and services slowed to a 2.0% increase over the same period last year (Q2: +12.2% yoy), while imports accelerated, expanding 8.1% (Q2: +7.5% yoy). The government sees the economy expanding 2.8% this year, while GDP is expected to moderate to a 2.5% expansion next year amid depressed conditions in Western Europe.