Bulgaria: Economy accelerates in fourth quarter
March 11, 2011
According to revised data published by the National Statistical Institute on 11 March, GDP increased a seasonally adjusted 2.8% annually in the fourth quarter. The reading came in above the 15 February preliminary estimate of a 2.1% annual rise and was significantly faster than the 0.5% expansion registered in the third quarter. On a quarterly basis, GDP rose 2.1% over Q3, up from the 1.7% expansion reported in the previous estimate. The result reflected an improvement in total consumption, which stepped up from a 6.4% contraction in the third quarter to a 2.6% drop in the fourth, despite private consumption remaining weak. In addition, investment expanded a strong 7.2%, contrasting the 5.3% decrease in Q3. The net contribution from the external sector to overall growth deteriorated somewhat, as imports expanded at a faster rhythm than exports. Exports of goods and services grew 16.0% in the fourth quarter, down from an 18.5% expansion in the third. Meanwhile, imports increased markedly from a 3.0% rise in the third quarter to a 15.0% expansion in the fourth. In the full year 2010, GDP rose a paltry 0.2%, but escaped the recession after the deep 5.5% contraction recorded in 2009.