Bulgaria’s GDP growth speeds to nearly 4-year high of 2% y/y in Q1 – flash estimate

By bne IntelliNews May 13, 2015

Bulgaria’s real GDP growth quickened to 2% y/y in the first quarter from 1.3% in the last quarter of 2014, data from the statistics office's flash estimate released on May 13 showed. The Q1 growth rate is the highest since Q2 2011.

On a seasonally-adjusted quarterly comparison basis, the economy expanded by 0.9% in Q1, following a 0.4% growth in Q4, and reaching its highest level since Q3 2010.

The statistics office will publish detailed GDP data on June 5.

The available breakdown across expenditure components shows that the acceleration of real GDP growth in Q1 was driven by net exports. Exports increased 9.1% y/y, speeding from a 5.4% y/y rise in the previous quarter, while the annual growth of imports decelerated to 4.9% from 7.5%. On the other hand, both final consumption and gross fixed capital formation slowed down - from 1.4% to 0.6% and from 3.3% to 2.6%, respectively.

Nominal GDP amounted to BGN17.14bn (€8.76bn) in Q1. Final consumption, gross capital formation and net exports accounted for 85.8%, 20% and -5.8% of the total. Exports and imports were equal to 71% and 76.8% of nominal Q1 GDP, respectively.

Bulgaria's government has projected a GDP growth of 1.4% for 2015, while the IMF and the European Commission see it at 1.2% and 1.0%, respectively. Last year, the southeast European country's economy expanded by 1.7%, supported by public investment and some recovery in private consumption, which suffered a significant drop in 2013.

GDP, % y/y real (flash estimate)        
  Q2'14 Q3'14 Q4'14 Q1'15
Final consumption 1.2 0.8 1.4 0.6
Gross fixed capital formation 5.1 4.4 3.3 2.6
Exports of goods and services 3.0 -2.8 5.4 9.1
Imports of goods and services 3.7 2.6 7.5 4.9
Source: NSI        

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