Bulgaria's GDP shrinks at a softer pace in Q1

Figures

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Bulgaria's gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 1.8% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, following a 3.8% decrease in the fourth quarter of 2020, the Sofia-based National Statistical Institute (NSI) in a flash estimate on Tuesday.

It was the fourth consecutive contraction but also the softest since the pandemic outbreak, indicating that the economy is recovering to its pre-crisis level.

This was due to improvements in all of its components, as final consumption grew at a faster pace (2.6% vs 0.9% in Q4), and gross fixed capital formation has significantly rebounded (1.2% vs -7.4%). Regarding external trade, imports have now recovered (0.6% vs -0.8%), but this was partially offset by a large decrease in exports (-6.0% vs -11.2%).

On a quarterly basis, the country's GDP is estimated to have grown 2.5%, faster than the 2.2% recorded in the previous quarter. According to the statistics institute, Bulgaria's GDP totaled BGN 26.4 billion (EUR 13.5 billion) at current prices in the first quarter. 

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