Bulgarian economy grew by 0.5% in Q4 2023 – flash estimate

Bulgaria’s economy grew by 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said in a flash estimate on 14 February. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria in October-December 2023 was 51.06 billion leva, or 26.1 billion euro.

In annual terms, the economic growth in the fourth quarter was 1.6 per cent, compared to the same period of 2022. NSI is due to announce preliminary growth figures for the quarter and the full year 2023 on 8 March.

The flash estimate’s seasonally-adjusted data showed domestic consumption rise by 1.1 per cent during the fourth quarter, and it was 3.1 per cent higher on an annual basis.

Gross fixed capital formation shrank by 0.6 per cent compared to the previous quarter, but was 4.2 per cent higher than in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Exports rose by two per cent compared to the third quarter but were one per cent lower compared to the same period of 2022, while imports rose by 3.2 per cent on a quarterly basis and were 5.4 per cent down year-on-year.

Bulgaria recorded a trade deficit of 774.9 million leva in October-December, the equivalent of 1.5 per cent of GDP, NSI said.

NSI’s statistics releases do not, as a rule, include analysis of trends and its GDP flash estimate made no mention of the impact that the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic or the Russian invasion of Ukraine had on Bulgaria’s economy.