Bulgaria's Economy Shows Moderate Growth in Third Quarter Amid Sector Shifts

In the third quarter of 2023, the Bulgarian economy experienced a 0.4% growth compared to the preceding quarter, maintaining a similar growth pattern seen earlier. Announced by the National Statistical Institute (NSI), the economic expansion, measuring 1.8% annually, remains consistent with the previously estimated 1.7%, showing a slight decline from the 2.0% growth in the second quarter.

Key drivers for this growth included a 0.6% rise in final consumption and a substantial 7.9% increase in gross fixed capital formation compared to the prior quarter. On an annual basis, final consumption rose by 4.3%, and gross fixed capital formation surged by 9.6%. Notably, the produced GDP for this period totaled BGN 48.4661 billion, equivalent to BGN 7,522 (EUR 3,846) per capita.

Sectors contributing to the economy showed significant shifts. The agricultural sector saw a reduction in its contribution to the economy's added value, decreasing to 5.3% from the prior year's quarter. Conversely, the industrial sector increased its contribution to the added value by 1.0%, reaching 28.8%, while the service sector significantly bolstered its share to 65.9% from 64.0% in the corresponding quarter of 2022.

Moreover, notable fluctuations were observed in trade activities. Exports of goods and services increased by 0.2% from the previous quarter but fell by 3.1% from a year ago. Imports exhibited a contrasting pattern, rising by 1.5% from the prior quarter but declining by 5.5% compared to the previous year. Despite the surge in imports, Bulgaria managed a positive foreign trade balance of BGN 3.6156 billion, accounting for 7.4% of the GDP.

These changes were also reflected in labor statistics. The GDP per employed person grew by 2.1% year-on-year, with 3.6105...

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