Bulgaria’s economy grew by 0.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year, according to preliminary data announced by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) on June 8. The figure fell short of NSI’s earlier flash estimate of one per cent growth.
Compared to the same period of 2021, Bulgaria’s economy grew by four per cent in the first quarter, falling short of the 4.5 per cent figure last month’s flash estimate.
In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in January-March was 32.81 billion leva, or 16.77 billion euro, NSI said.
NSI’s seasonally-adjusted preliminary data showed domestic consumption rise by one per cent during the first quarter, and it was 5.2 per cent higher on an annual basis. Gross fixed capital formation grew by one per cent in January-March, but was 5.6 per cent down compared to the first quarter of 2021.
Exports in the first quarter were 1.9 per cent up, while imports rose by 3.8 per cent, which resulted in a trade deficit of 295.4 million leva, or 0.9 per cent of GDP. Compared to the first quarter of last year, exports were up 6.5 per cent and imports were 13.5 per cent higher.
NSI’s statistics releases do not, as a rule, include analysis of trends and its first-quarter GDP announcement made no mention of the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic or the Russian invasion of Ukraine had on Bulgaria’s economy.
Bulgaria’s Cabinet had set a 4.8 per cent per cent economic growth target this year in the Budget Act macro-economic framework, up from 4.2 per cent recorded by NSI last year. In May, the Finance Ministry’s updated macro-economic framework lowered the GDP growth forecast to 2.9 per cent.
Last month, the European Commission’s spring forecast lowered Bulgaria’s economic growth estimate for 2022 to 2.1 per cent, down from 3.7 per cent in the winter forecast.