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Bulgaria’s Economic Growth Kept Pace in Third Quarter on Demand

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Bulgaria’s economic recovery kept its pace in the third quarter as rising domestic demand offset a decline in exports to the European Union because of the euro-area’s debt crisis.

Gross domestic product rose 0.5 percent from a year earlier, the same increase as in the previous three months, the Sofia-based Statistics Institute said today in a preliminary estimate. Seasonally adjusted GDP advanced 0.1 percent from the previous quarter.

Bulgaria’s stable domestic economic environment and solid public finances are supporting consumer confidence and boosting domestic demand and investment in public projects, the European Commission said in a report on Nov. 7.

The commission, the EU’s executive arm in Brussels, raised its economic growth forecast for Bulgaria on Nov. 7 to 0.8 percent this year from a May estimate of 0.5 percent citing lower lending rates, which will support “a modest growth in credit” and consumption.

The International Monetary Fund raised its 2012 economic growth forecast to 1 percent on Oct. 2 from a 0.8 percent estimate on April 17, citing stronger domestic demand boosted by EU aid.

Bulgaria weathered the global financial crisis without an international bail out. The government increased investment in road and railway construction projects, which are con-financed with the European Union.

Bulgaria’s economy grew 1.7 percent last year, after a revised 0.4 percent in 2010, according to the institute.

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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