Bulgaria GDP Q3 2016


Bulgaria: Economy slows slightly in Q3

December 6, 2016

Bulgaria’s economy lost some momentum in the third quarter of 2016, mirroring the slowdown seen throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Data released on 6 December showed that the Bulgarian economy expanded 3.4% in Q3 compared to the same period of the previous year (previously reported: +3.5% year-on-year), below the 3.6% growth in Q2 and marking the slowest growth rate in six quarters. Q3’s lower growth was largely driven by a drop in fixed investment, while total consumption grew at the slowest pace since Q4 2014 and the country’s external sector improved. With the external sector picking up the slack left as a result of worsening figures for consumption and investment in Q3, Bulgaria remains on course to grow above the regional average in 2016.

Total consumption expanded by a meagre 0.2% in Q3 (Q2: +1.2% year-on-year). Private consumption grew 1.3% (Q2: +2.5% year-on-year) while government consumption shrank 1.6% (Q2: -2.2% year-on-year). Fixed investment worsened from a 0.1% contraction in Q2 to a 1.8% decrease in Q3.

On the external side of the economy, exports improved from a 4.5% expansion in Q2 to a 9.5% increase in Q3. Imports also accelerated from a 2.8% increase in Q2 to a 7.5% rise in Q3. As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to economic growth rose slightly from plus 1.0 percentage point in Q2 to plus 1.1 percentage points in Q3.

The Ministry of Finance expects the economy to expand 2.9% in 2017. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants also expect GDP to expand 2.9% in 2017, which is unchanged from last month’s Consensus. In 2018, panelists also see the economy growing 2.9%.

Author:, Economist

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Bulgaria GDP Chart

Bulgaria GDP Q3 2016 0

Note: Year-on-year changes of GDP in %
Source: National Statistical Institute (NSI) and FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast

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