Bulgaria: Economic growth slows in the third quarter
November 15, 2011
In the third quarter, GDP expanded 1.3% over the same period last year, according to the flash estimate released by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) on 15 November. The third quarter reading was below the 2.0% year-on-year expansion recorded in the second quarter. In comparison with the previous quarter, GDP remained flat in seasonally and working-day adjusted terms (Q2: +0.3% quarter-on-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 3.1% year-on-year (Q2: +8.4% yoy). The net contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth deteriorated markedly, as deceleration of export shipments outpaced a weaker growth in imports. Exports of goods and services slowed to a 1.7% increase over the same period last year, while imports moderated, expanding 3.4%. According to the calendar of statistical surveys, the NSI will publish its official quarterly GDP estimates for the third quarter on 9 December. While the government maintains its 3.6% growth forecast for this year, GDP is expected to moderate to a 2.5% expansion amid depressed conditions in Western Europe.