Bulgaria's economy advanced 3.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, higher than a preliminary estimate of 3.4 percent and following a 3.2 percent expansion in the previous period, final figures showed. It was the strongest growth rate in a year, as government spending increased further (5.2 percent from 4 percent in Q4). Meanwhile, household consumption slowed to 4.9 percent from 5.7 percent in the prior period and gross fixed capital formation eased to 2.5 percent from 6.6 percent. Net trade contributed positively to the GDP as exports rose 5.1 percent (vs 1.4 percent in Q4) and imports went up at a softer 3.9 percent (vs 1.6 percent in Q4). On a quarterly basis, the economy expanded 1.2 percent, above a preliminary reading of 1.1 percent, the most in over two years, and after a 0.8 percent growth in the last quarter of 2018. GDP Annual Growth Rate in Bulgaria averaged 3.03 percent from 1996 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 17.20 percent in the first quarter of 1998 and a record low of -14 percent in the third quarter of 1996.
GDP Annual Growth Rate in Bulgaria is expected to be 3.10 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate GDP Annual Growth Rate in Bulgaria to stand at 3.40 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Bulgaria GDP Annual Growth Rate is projected to trend around 3.20 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.