In the last days of 2017 NSI published data on key economic indicators. Here is how Bulgaria starts 2018:
Manufacturing, as well as mining, reported growth of 5.5% and 4.3% respectively, while production and distribution of electricity, thermal energy and gas dropped by 8.8%. Construction output increased just over 10% compared to 2016 mainly due to building construction, while civil engineering registered a decrease. According to preliminary data, Bulgaria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) totaled BGN 26 990 million in the third quarter of 2017 at current prices. This corresponds to BGN 3 810 or EUR 1 948 of the value of the indicator per capita. Seasonally adjusted data show growth of 3.9% of the GDP in the third quarter of 2017.
Individual consumption of the population amounted to 61.7% of the GDP, recording an increase of 4.6% compared to last year.
Turnover in retail trade, estimated on a calendar-adjusted basis, went up by 3.8% compared to the corresponding month a year ago. The growth was mainly due to the retail trade of various goods – by 13.8%; retail trade of pharmaceutical and medical goods by 11.2%; retail trade of computers and communication equipment – by 8.8%, retail trade of household appliances, furniture and other household goods – by 6.8%; and retail trade of food, beverages and tobacco – by 5.8%. A decline was registered in the retail trade of automotive fuels and lubricants, textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods.
The relative share of employed persons aged 15+ was 53.2% (corresponding to 3 225.0 thousand men and women), an increase of 3.3% compared to last year. The unemployment rate was 5.8%, corresponding to a decrease by 12.6% of the number of unemployed persons.
Of the total number of unemployed persons 112.4 thousand (56.2%) were men and 87.8 thousand (43.8%) were women. According to preliminary data, the total costs of employers per hour worked increased by 10.7%. A major increase in costs was registered in industry – by 11.5%, in services – by 10.8%, and in construction – by 7.0%.
In September 2017 the average salary totaled BGN 1 064, going up by 11.5% over a one-year period.
The current account was positive and amounted to EUR 2 684 million (5.4% of GDP). The trade balance was negative and was in the amount of EUR 1 270.4 million (2.5% of GDP). Exports totaled EUR 21 527.3 million (42.9% of GDP), rising by EUR 2 601.9 million (13.7%) on the year. Imports amounted to EUR 22 797.8 million (45.4% of GDP), up by 15.8% year-on-year in 2016. According to preliminary data, foreign direct investment in the country went up by EUR 96.6 million in October 2017, compared to a decrease of EUR 112.7 million in October 2016. Direct investment abroad also increased – by EUR 19.1 million (up 12.5 million in October 2016).
The external trade balance of goods and services in the third quarter of 2017 was positive. Export of goods and services increased by 4.1% and import of goods and services rose by 5.1%.
Price decrease was recorded in communications – by 2.4%. The prices rose by 9.0% in dwellings, by 10.1% in production and distribution of electricity and thermal energy and gas, by 9.1% in mining and by 3.1% in manufacturing. Managers expect that the sales prices in industry will remain unchanged in the next quarter as well.
Detailed data on these and other indicators can be found in the NSI publication here.
* Seasonally adjusted data as of October 2017 and compared to the corresponding period a year ago