Bulgaria GDP Q1 2019


Bulgaria: GDP growth accelerates in Q1 2019

May 15, 2019

A preliminary release by the Statistical Institute showed that the economy grew a seasonally-adjusted 3.4% on an annual basis in the first quarter of the year, accelerating slightly from the fourth quarter’s 3.2% upturn. More upbeat external demand drove the overall expansion in the first quarter.

A rudimentary breakdown showed that total consumption growth moderated to 3.5% in Q1 (Q4: +5.0% year-on-year), likely weighed on by higher unemployment and inflation, on average, throughout the quarter. Fixed investment also lost steam in Q1, growing 2.6% in annual terms, which was the slowest pace in a year and a half (Q4: +6.6% yoy). That said, external sector metrics improved notably in the quarter: Exports of goods and services picked up despite mediocre economic activity in the EU (Q1: +5.0% yoy; Q4: +1.4% yoy), while growth in imports held largely steady compared to the previous quarter (Q1: +1.7% yoy; Q4: +1.6% yoy).

On a quarter-on-quarter, seasonally-adjusted basis, growth also accelerated to a strong 1.1% in Q1, from 0.8% in Q4.

More comprehensive data will be released on 6 June.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect growth of 3.3% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. In 2020, panelists see the economy growing 2.9%.

Author:, Economist

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Bulgaria GDP Chart

Bulgaria GDP Q1 2019

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

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