Bulgaria’s economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the second quarter of the year, according to preliminary data announced by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) on September 7, exceeding the 0.4 per cent NSI flash estimate released last month.
Compared to the same period of 2020, Bulgaria’s economy grew by 9.9 per cent in the second quarter. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in April-June was 31.17 billion leva, or 15.94 billion euro.
NSI made no reference to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted Bulgaria to declare a State of Emergency on March 13 2020, shutting down parts of its economy as it introduced social distancing and anti-epidemic measures. The restrictions led to the country’s economy shrinking by 10 per cent in Q2 2020.
The State of Emergency remained in force until May 13 2020, when it was followed by the declaration of an epidemic, which has been extended repeatedly and remains in effect.
NSI’s preliminary data showed domestic consumption rose by two per cent compared to the first quarter of 2021 and was 6.2 per cent higher year-on-year, while gross fixed capital formation was up by 0.5per cent compared to Q1 2021 and 12.2 per cent higher on an annual basis.
Exports in the second quarter were down 0.5 per cent, while imports declined by 0.9 per cent, which resulted in a trade surplus of 404.2 million leva, or 1.3 per cent of GDP. Compared to the second quarter of last year, exports were up 20.4 per cent and imports were 28.4 per cent higher.
Bulgaria’s Cabinet has set a 2.5 per cent economic growth target this year in the Budget Act macro-economic framework, with NSI data showing GDP declined by 4.2 per cent in 2020. The European Commission’s summer forecast projected that the Bulgarian economy would grow by 4.6 per cent this year.