Bulgaria's gross domestic product (GDP) is seen to have increased by between 0.5% and 1% in the first quarter of 2011, according to estimates of the Centre for Economic Development (CED).
The improvement in the country's economy will accelerate in the second quarter of 2011, bringing the annual growth rate to at least 2.5% this year, the analysts said.
The rate is not forecast to exceed 3% in 2011, despite government projections for a GDP increase of 3.6%.
CED's report is based on official statistics data, which showed that the country registered a 5.5% contraction in GDP in 2009, the first crisis year for Bulgaria's economy. The crisis took its toll in the last quarter of 2009, prompting a 7.6% decline in GDP on an annual basis. 2010 marked the exit from the downturn, which was, however, weak and unstable, leading to an annual drop in GDP of 0.2%.
Construction was the hardest hit industry by the crisis, while manufacturing was the most flexible sector to cope with the turmoil. The finance, credits and insurance segment, as well as real estate and business services, was the singe industry to escape the crisis, according to the report.(Source: Dnevnik)