Bulgaria: GDP growth eases to two-and-a-half year low in the second quarter
Economic growth moderated in the second quarter, with GDP expanding 1.8% on an annual basis (Q1: +2.1% year on year), according to a preliminary estimate. Q2’s reading marked the weakest since Q4 2020.
Looking at details of the release, the moderation was spearheaded by softer growth in final consumption, which came in at 1.3% in Q2 (Q1: +1.8% yoy). Meanwhile, fixed investment growth picked up to 3.4% in Q2 from 2.8% in Q1. On the external front, exports swung into contraction, declining 0.8% in Q2 (Q1: +2.2% yoy), while imports fell at a steeper pace of 6.7% (Q1: -2.3% yoy).
On a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis, economic growth in Q2 was stable at Q1’s 0.4%.
A more detailed breakdown will be released on 7 September.
Analysts at the EIU commented on the outlook:
“Bulgaria’s economy will experience a slowdown in 2023 in line with regional trends, but […] it will remain among the stronger-performing EU economies (significantly above the EU average). […] Inflation will slow, which will provide some respite for household spending. Investor confidence, however, will remain subdued, not only because of the wider EU slowdown, but also owing to Bulgaria’s proximity to the [war in Ukraine].”