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Bulgarian Economic Growth Slows in Fourth Quarter on Exports

March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Bulgaria’s economic recovery slowed in the fourth quarter as factory orders and exports to the European Union declined because of the euro-area’s debt crisis.

Gross domestic product expanded 1.6 percent, compared with a 1.5 percent estimate on Feb. 15, the Sofia-based Statistics Institute said today on its website. Seasonally adjusted GDP was 0.3 percent from the previous quarter, after a 0.4 percent growth estimate. Bulgaria’s economy grew 1.7 percent last year, after a revised 0.4 percent in 2010, according to the institute.

The sovereign-debt crisis in the euro area, which buys 60 percent of Bulgaria’s exports, is curbing economic growth in the EU’s poorest country by per-capita GDP as it emerges from its first recession in more than a decade through exports of its metals, machinery, textiles and furniture.

The EU estimated Bulgaria’s economy to grow 1.8 percent in 2011 and 1.4 percent this year in a Feb. 23 estimate, citing stagnant domestic demand.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Konstantinova in Sofia at ekonstantino@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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