Bulgaria's current account deficit narrowed 25% y/y to EUR 421mn in Q1 2013 on the back of strong exports, preliminary data released by the central bank showed.
The merchandise trade gap shrank 49% y/y to EUR 478mn in the first three months of the year as exports climbed 12.9% to EUR 5.2bn, while imports climbed only 2.4% to EUR 5.7bn.
The surplus of the services' balance fell 19% y/y to EUR 73mn but will most likely improve in the next quarter in light of the summer tourism season. In that context, revenue from foreign tourists edged up 6% y/y to EUR 317mn in Q1.
The deficit on the income balance contracted 33% y/y to EUR 211mn. Net current transfers posted a EUR 195mn surplus, down from EUR 602mn in Jan-Mar 2012, attributed to the lower remittances flow since the start of the year.
The financial account deteriorated substantially in Q1, netting a EUR 1bn deficit compared to a EUR 29mn surplus a year earlier. This can be associated with the falling net FDI (down 57% y/y) and the repayment of a Eurobond issue in January. In addition, the net portfolio investment deficit increased by 46%.
As a result, the balance of payments's gap widened to EUR 1bn in the first quarter of 2013 from just EUR 176mn a year earlier.
|Bulgaria, BoP (EUR mn)||2012 Q1||2013 Q1||Change y/y|
|Net current transfers||602||195||-68%|
|Net errors and omissions||346||399||15%|
|Source: Bulgarian central bank|
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