Bulgaria’s economy grew by one per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said in a flash estimate on February 16. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria in October-December 2021 was 38.51 billion leva, or 19.69 billion euro.
In annual terms, the economic growth in the fourth quarter was 4.5 per cent, compared to the same period of 2020. NSI is due to announce preliminary growth figures for the quarter and the full year 2021 in early March.
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 1.3 per cent during the fourth quarter, and it was 7.9 per cent higher on an annual basis. Gross fixed capital formation fell by 2.6 per cent in October-December, and was 12.5 per cent down compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.
Exports rose by 7.1 per cent compared to the third quarter and were 12.9 per cent higher compared to the same period of 2020, while imports rose by 4.2 per cent on a quarterly basis and were 11.2 per cent up year-on-year. The country recorded a trade deficit of 1.25 billion leva in the quarter, the equivalent of 3.2 per cent of GDP, NSI said.
Bulgaria’s economic growth in the fourth quarter was higher than the figure recorded for the EU as a whole, according to data from the bloc’s statistics body Eurostat.
The EU27 economy grew by 0.4 per cent in Q4, while the euro zone economy was up 0.3 per cent. Year-on-year, the EU economy increased by 4.6 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, while the euro zone economy was up by 4.8 per cent.