Bulgaria’s economy grew by 0.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2021, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said in a flash estimate on August 17. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria in April-June was 31.08 billion leva or 15.89 billion euro.
In annual terms, the economic growth in the second quarter was 9.6 per cent, compared to the same period of 2020. NSI is due to announce preliminary growth figures for the quarter on September 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, shutting down parts of its economy as it introduced social distancing and anti-epidemic measures. The State of Emergency remained in force until May 13 2020, when it was followed by the declaration of an epidemic.
The flash estimate’s seasonally-adjusted data showed domestic consumption rise by 2.5 per cent during the second quarter, and it was 3.7 per cent higher on an annual basis. Gross fixed capital formation rose by 0.6 per cent in April-June, and was 4.2 per cent up compared to the second quarter of 2020.
Exports declined by 0.6 per cent compared to the first quarter, but were 20.3 per cent higher compared to the same period of 2020, while imports fell by 0.7 per cent on a quarterly basis and were 28.6 per cent up year-on-year. The country recorded a trade surplus of 308.8 million leva in the quarter, the equivalent of 0.1 per cent of GDP, NSI said.
Bulgaria’s economic growth in the second quarter was among the lowest recorded in the EU, according to data from the bloc’s statistics body Eurostat.
The EU economy as a whole grew by 1.9 per cent in Q2, while the euro zone economy was up two per cent. Year-on-year, the EU economy increased by 13.2 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2020, while the euro zone economy was up by 13.6 per cent.
Twenty countries recorded economic growth in the quarter, according to Eurostat, while seven countries were yet to report first-quarter estimates – Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia.