Bulgaria: GDP expands at fastest pace in nearly two years
February 14, 2014
In the last quarter of 2013, GDP expanded 1.0% over the same period of the previous year according to preliminary data released on 14 February. The expansion was an improvement over the 0.7% increase recorded in the third quarter and marked the fastest growth rate since Q1 2012. The quarterly expansion was driven by an improvement in both domestic demand and in the external sector.
Total consumption growth accelerated from a 0.4% rise in Q3 to a 1.0% increase in Q4. Private consumption fell 0.3% (Q3: -1.2% year-on-year), while government spending rose 2.9% (Q3: +3.9% yoy). Fixed investment fell 0.7%, which contrasted the 1.2% rise tallied in Q3.
On the external side of the economy, exports accelerated from a 8.5% rise in Q3 to a 9.4% increase in Q4. Meanwhile, imports rose 4.8% (Q3: +7.4% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to the economy rose from 0.2 percentage points in Q3 to 2.7 percentage points in Q4. More detailed data will be released on 5 March.
On a quarterly basis, the economy grew 0.4% in Q4, which was slightly below the 0.5% rise recorded in the previous quarter.
The government sees economic growth at 1.8% in 2014. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect GDP to expand 1.6% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's Consensus. In 2015, panelists see the economy growing 2.6%.
Author: Dirina Mançellari, Senior Economist