Bulgaria: Exports continue to support economic growth
March 6, 2012
In the fourth quarter of 2011, GDP expanded 1.6% over the same period the year before, according to a revised estimate released by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) on 6 March. The reading came in an inch above the 15 February preliminary estimate of a 1.5% rise, and matched the expansion registered in the third quarter. In comparison with the previous quarter, GDP expanded 0.3% in seasonally and working-day adjusted terms, faster than the 0.2% increase seen in the previous quarter. In the full year 2011, GDP expanded an estimated 1.7% over the previous year. The quarterly reading reflected a stronger external sector, whereas, on the other hand, private consumption slowed (Q4: +1.0 year-on-year, Q3: +1.2% yoy). Meanwhile, gross fixed capital formation dropped 9.7% year-on-year (Q3: -7.4% yoy). The external sector's net contribution to overall economic growth improved markedly, as accelerating exports outpaced weaker import growth. Exports of goods and services accelerated to a 12.6% increase over the same period last year (Q3: +5.4% yoy), while imports slowed to 4.5% (Q3: +9.0% yoy). According to Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov the economy is likely to grow between 2.5% and 3.0% this year.