A big building in Bulgaria

Bulgaria GDP Q4 2019

Bulgaria: Economy keeps pace at the end of 2019 on solid consumption dynamics

The economy grew 3.1% in annual terms in the final quarter of last year, down 0.4 percentage points from the preliminary estimate and slowing from the previous quarter’s revised 3.2% expansion (previously reported: +3.7% year-on-year), according to comprehensive data released by the National Statistical Institute. Meanwhile, on a quarter-on-quarter basis, growth in seasonally-adjusted terms inched up to a revised 0.8% (previously reported: +0.7% quarter-on-quarter) from 0.7% in Q3. The fourth quarter’s result brings full-year growth for 2019 to 3.4%, up from the 3.1% expansion clocked in 2018.

Total consumption strengthened (Q4: +6.3% year-on-year; Q3: +5.8% yoy), mainly due to buoyant household spending amid an extremely tight labor market, improving consumer confidence and strong wage growth. Moreover, fixed investment picked up steam in the fourth quarter, rising 3.0% year-on-year (Q3: +2.1% yoy), likely due to robust EU fund inflows.

The external sector, on the other hand, weakened, most likely due to European supply-chain disruptions, a frail EU economy and a lackluster performance of the industrial sector. Exports of goods and services dipped 0.4% year-on-year, swinging from Q3’s 4.2% increase, while imports also contracted 0.2%, contrasting Q3’s 5.5% jump.

Momentum is seen easing this year, as reduced job growth will restrain consumer spending growth. That said, marked wage hikes will sustain spending dynamics, while investment activity will strengthen on the back of a pick-up in EU funds absorption, cushioning the slowdown. Lingering global trade tensions, coronavirus spillovers and weakness in the EU economy pose downside risks.

Free sample report

Access essential information in the shortest time possible. FocusEconomics provide hundreds of consensus forecast reports from the most reputable economic research authorities in the world.
Close Left Media Arrows Left Media Circles Right Media Arrows Right Media Circles Arrow Quote Wave Address Email Telephone Man in front of screen with line chart Document with bar chart and magnifying glass Application window with bar chart Target with arrow Line Chart Stopwatch Globe with arrows Document with bar chart in front of screen Bar chart with magnifying glass and dollar sign Lightbulb Document with bookmark Laptop with download icon Calendar Icon Nav Menu Arrow Arrow Right Long Icon Arrow Right Icon Chevron Right Icon Chevron Left Icon Briefcase Icon Linkedin In Icon Full Linkedin Icon Filter Facebook Linkedin Twitter Pinterest