Bulgaria: Economic growth expands at slowest pace since Q3 2010
March 6, 2013
In the fourth quarter, GDP expanded 0.5% over the same period the year before, according to the preliminary estimate released on 6 March. The reading followed the 0.6% rise seen in the previous quarter (previously reported: +0.5% year-on-year) and marked, in fact, the lowest print recorded since Q3 2010. In the full year 2012, GDP increased 0.8%, below the 1.8% rise tallied in 2011.
The weak expansion in Q4 mainly reflects a slowdown in private consumption, which moderated to a 1.3% rise (Q3 2012: +2.0% yoy), whereas government spending was null in Q4 (Q3: +0.1% yoy). On the other hand, gross fixed capital formation rebounded to a 1.5% expansion, contrasting the revised 1.5% drop seen in Q3.
The external sector, on the other hand, improved marginally. Exports of goods and services fell 2.1% over the same period the previous year (Q3: 0.0% yoy), while imports deteriorated even further and contracted 0.5% (Q3: +2.6% yoy). As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth rose to minus 1.1% in Q4 (Q3: -1.8%).
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP was flat in seasonally and working-day adjusted terms, which came in below the 0.1% growth seen in the previous quarter.
The government sees growth rising up at 1.9% in 2013 and at 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%.