Bulgaria: GDP growth softens in the fourth quarter
GDP growth edged down to 4.7% in the final quarter of 2021, from 5.0% in the third. Q4’s reading marked the weakest result since Q1, but was above the 4.5% result in the preliminary release. As such, growth for 2021 as a whole totaled 4.2%, contrasting the 4.3% contraction recorded in the prior year.
Household spending increased 8.7% in the fourth quarter, which was above the third quarter’s 8.4% expansion. Public spending growth slowed to 2.8% in Q4 (Q3: +6.3%). Fixed investment contracted 15.5% in Q4, deteriorating further from Q3’s 14.5% drop.
On the external front, exports of goods and services increased 13.8% on an annual basis in the fourth quarter, which was above the third quarter’s 7.9% expansion. Conversely, imports of goods and services growth moderated to 10.9% in Q4 (Q3: +12.5%).
Lastly, on a seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis, economic growth improved moderately to 1.0% in Q4, from the previous quarter’s 0.8% growth. Q4’s reading marked the best result since Q1.