Bulgaria’s economy grew by 0.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2021, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said in a flash estimate on November 16. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria in April-June was 35.58 billion leva, or 18.19 billion euro.
In annual terms, the economic growth in the third quarter was 0.4 per cent, compared to the same period of 2020. NSI is due to announce preliminary growth figures for the quarter on December 7.
Once again, in reporting GDP figures, NSI made no reference to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted Bulgaria to declare a State of Emergency on March 13 2020. The State of Emergency remained in force until May 13 2020, when it was followed by the declaration of an epidemic, which remains in effect.
The flash estimate’s seasonally-adjusted data showed domestic consumption rise by 1.8 per cent during the third quarter, and it was 5.1 per cent higher on an annual basis. Gross fixed capital formation fell by 0.6 per cent in July-September, and was three per cent down compared to the third quarter of 2020.
Exports declined by 2.1 per cent compared to the second quarter, but were 12.5 per cent higher compared to the same period of 2020, while imports rose by 1.5 per cent on a quarterly basis and were 11.1 per cent up year-on-year. The country recorded a trade surplus of 1.71 billion leva in the quarter, the equivalent of 4.8 per cent of GDP, NSI said.
Bulgaria’s economic growth in the third quarter was lower than the average figures recorded in the EU, according to data from the bloc’s statistics body Eurostat.
The EU economy as a whole grew by 2.1 per cent in Q3, while the euro zone economy was up 2.2 per cent. Year-on-year, the EU economy increased by 3.9 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2020, while the euro zone economy was up by 3.7 per cent.
Nineteen countries recorded economic growth in the quarter, according to Eurostat, while Lithuania had zero growth and seven countries were yet to report third quarter estimates – Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia.