Bulgaria: Economy expands at slowest pace in one year in Q3
December 8, 2014
In the third quarter, the economy expanded 1.5% over the same period last year according to more detailed data released on 3 December. The print was just below the preliminary estimate of a 1.6% expansion. In addition, the reading was below the 1.8% expansion (previously reported: +1.6%) tallied in the previous quarter and marked the lowest growth rate in one year. The new growth figures reflect the recent revision to the base year.
Q3’s reading was driven by a deterioration in both domestic demand and the external sector compared to the previous quarter. Private consumption decelerated to a 0.6% expansion (Q2: +0.9% year-on-year) and government spending slowed from a 1.7% increase in Q2 to a 1.0% rise in Q3. In addition, fixed investment decelerated from a 5.1% increase in Q2 to a 4.4% rise in Q3.
On the external side of the economy, exports swung to a 2.8% contraction from a 3.0% expansion in Q2, which marked the largest contraction since Q1 2012. Imports slowed from a 3.7% increase in Q2 to a 2.6% rise in Q3, which marked an over two year low. As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to the economy fell from a minus 0.5 percentage points in Q2 to minus 3.6 percentage points in Q3.