Bulgaria: Economy stabilizes in Q1
June 4, 2014
In the first quarter, the economy expanded 1.2% over the same period last year according to detailed data released on 4 June. The expansion overshot the 1.1% expansion reported in the preliminary estimate but was in line with the 1.2% expansion recorded in the previous quarter. On a quarterly basis, the economy grew 0.3% in seasonally-adjusted terms, which was on par with the result tallied in the last quarter of 2013.
Q1’s expansion was driven by better performance in the domestic sector, while the external sector deteriorated compared to the previous quarter. Private consumption rebounded from the 0.7% contraction observed in Q4 to a 1.8% increase in Q1, which marked the fastest growth rate since Q2 2012. Growth in fixed investment rose slightly to 3.4% (Q4: +3.1% year-on-year), while government consumption rose 1.6%, which mirrored Q4’s result.
On the external side of the economy, exports rose 1.5% (Q4: +9.3% yoy). In addition, imports rose 6.3% (Q4: +6.9% yoy). As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to the economy swung from plus 1.1 percentage points in Q4 to minus 3.6 percentage points in Q1.
Author: Dirina Mançellari, Senior Economist