Bulgaria: Economy grows on the back of strong exports
May 13, 2011
In the first quarter, GDP expanded 0.4% over the previous quarter in seasonally and working-day adjusted terms, according to the flash estimate published by the National Statistical Institute on 13 May. The first quarter reading was broadly in line with the 0.5% expansion observed in the fourth quarter of 2010. Compared to the same period the previous year, GDP rose 2.5%. The quarterly reading reflected a strong improvement in the external sector, while domestic demand remained depressed. Private consumption dropped 0.5% quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2010: +0.7% qoq) while gross fixed investment deteriorated markedly from a 1.0% expansion in Q4 2010 to a 4.7% contraction in Q1 2011. However, the net contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth improved markedly, with exports outpacing imports. Exports of goods and services rebounded from a 2.2% contraction to a 7.3% increase. Meanwhile, imports deteriorated from a 5.4% expansion in the fourth quarter to contract 4.0% in Q1 2011. The government anticipates GDP will expand 3.6% in 2011.