Bulgaria: Economy loses steam in Q3 as exports plummet
According to a more comprehensive estimate released by the Statistical Institute, the economy grew 3.1% in seasonally-adjusted terms and on an annual basis in the third quarter, a notch above the preliminary estimate but below the second quarter’s reading (Q2: +3.4 year-on-year s.a.). Despite a well-anchored domestic economy, deteriorating external-sector metrics eroded gains.
Domestic demand remained in the driver’s seat, fueled by a pick-up in fixed investment which accelerated to 7.0% year-on-year from a revised 6.6% logged in the previous quarter (previously reported: +4.6% yoy s.a.). Additionally, total consumption grew steadily at 6.9% (Q2: +6.9% yoy s.a.; previously reported: +4.8 yoy s.a.) amid the tighter labor market.
The external sector weighed down economic growth, however. Exports contracted for a second straight quarter (Q3: -3.6% yoy s.a.; Q2: -1.9% yoy s.a.) against the backdrop of a broader European slowdown. Meanwhile, import growth decelerated to 4.0% from a revised 5.0% increase in the previous quarter (previously reported: +4.3% yoy s.a.).
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, growth in seasonally-adjusted terms came in at 0.7% in the third quarter, down from the 0.8% outturn a quarter earlier.