Bulgaria’s foreign trade deficit narrowed to BGN 718.3mn (EUR 367mn) in the first two months of the year from BGN 1,138.5mn a year earlier, preliminary data of the statistics office shows. The improvement came on the back of a 18.4% y/y surge of exports. This may be attributed to a large extent to base effects due to a decline in exports in Jan-Feb 2012 although in nominal terms exports reached record high values in 2012.
The combined imports (FOB) since the start of the year also increased but at a slower pace - by 9.2% y/y. This is a sign of falling domestic demand which was also the reason why the caretaker government cut the economic forecast for the country this year.
In February alone, the exports growth slowed to 13.2% y/y from 23.8% y/y in the previous month. Imports increased by 11.9% y/y (versus 6.4% y/y a month earlier) and as a result the trade deficit expanded to BGN 628mn from revised BGN 90mn in January.
The trade deficit with non-EU states shrank by 21% y/y to BGN 338mn. The balance of trade with the EU was also negative at BGN 380mn, down by 48% y/y.
In 2012, the foreign trade gap widened by 67% to BGN 7.03bn, accounting for 9.1% of the GDP projection.
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