Bulgaria: GDP slows further in Q1
June 5, 2013
In the first quarter, GDP expanded 0.4% over the same period last year, according to data released on 5 June. The reading was below the revised 0.6% rise seen in Q4 (previously reported: +0.5% year-on-year) and marked, in fact, the lowest print recorded since Q3 2010.
The weak expansion in Q1 mainly reflects a slowdown in domestic demand, as private consumption dropped 1.0% (Q4 2012: +0.2% year-on-year). On the other hand, government spending rose 3.2% in Q1 (Q4: +0.3% yoy). Meanwhile, gross fixed capital formation expanded 5.0%, above the 3.1% rise seen in Q4.
The external sector exhibited a significant improvement in the first quarter. Exports of goods and services rose 10.8% over the same period last year (Q4: -1.5% yoy), while imports increased 5.6% (Q4: -0.4% yoy). As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth rose to 2.6 percentage points in Q1 from minus 0.8 percentage points in the previous period.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP grew 0.1% in seasonally and working-day adjusted terms, which came in above the flat reading recorded in the previous quarter.
The government sees growth rising up to 1.9% in 2013 and to 3.1% in 2014. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect GDP to expand 1.4% this year, which is unchanged from last month's Consensus. Next year, panellists see the economy growing 2.4%.