Bulgaria's GDP growth quickens to 0.8% y/y in Q3 2013 - flash estimate

By bne IntelliNews November 14, 2013

Bulgaria's real GDP increased at an annual rate of 0.8% in the third quarter of 2013, accelerating from 0.2% in Q2 - the quickest pace of growth in more than a year, according to the flash estimate of the statistics office. The Bulgarian economy also recorded its biggest quarterly growth rate in two and a half years as seasonally-adjusted GDP was up 0.6% q/q in July-September, following a drop of 0.1% in Apr-June.

The bounce in the growth momentum is associated with a higher level of final consumption expenditure, which rose 0.4% y/y in Q3, accelerating from 0.2% yearly growth in Q2. Exports also helped pull up the GDP figure as sales abroad of Bulgarian goods climbed 6.7% y/y in Q3 after increasing 4.5% y/y in the previous quarter. The rise in economic activity coincides with a higher employment rate of 48.2% in Q3, up by 0.3pps y/y, which, however, reflected a contraction in the working age population and a smaller number of employed persons.

The quickening growth of consumption expenditure was due to a deceleration in the decline of household spending, which fell 1.0% y/y in Q3, narrowing from a 1.3% y/y drop in Q2. The pace of increase of government outlays slowed to 2.1% y/y in Q3 from 2.6% y/y in the second quarter. Furthermore, the value of purchases that contribute to gross capital formation was up 1.2% y/y in Q3, while imports climbed 5.0% on the year.

In October, the government lowered its economic growth projection for 2013 to 0.6% from an earlier estimate of 1.0% due to revised expectations of the level of domestic demand. In addition, both the IMF and the EC have cut their GDP growth forecasts on Bulgaria to 0.5% this year, down from previous estimates of 1.6% and 0.9%, respectively.

It is expected that economic activity in the remainder of 2013 will be driven by public expenditures and the export-oriented industries.

Related Articles

Bulgarian government gives up plan to join CEZ asset sale deal

Bulgaria’s government does not intend to participate in the deal to sell assets of Czech energy company CEZ, Finance Minister ... more

Bulgarian opposition demands resignations after travellers stroll through abandoned passport control at Sofia airport

Bulgaria’s main opposition Socialist Party (BSP) is demanding the dismissal of Interior Minister ... more

Bulgaria creates “golden hole” for corruption as it scraps procurement rules for Turkish border fence repairs

Bulgaria's parliament approved on March 22 highly controversial amendments to the Public Procurement Act that will allow contracts to repair the fence along its border with Turkey to be ... more

Dismiss