Facebook Economics

Edward Hugh has a lively and enjoyable Facebook community where he publishes frequent breaking news economics links and short updates. If you would like to receive these updates on a regular basis and join the debate please invite Edward as a friend by clicking the Facebook link at the top of the right sidebar.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bulgaria Inflation February 2008 and Q4 2007 GDP

Bulgarian inflation reached 13.2 percent on the year in February, the government said Wednesday.The rate in January was 12.5 percent.

Food prices increased by 1.7 percent in February over January, with prices of nonfood items rising 0.8 percent, and services up 0.2 percent, the National Statistics Institute said.

The Bulgarian harmonized index of consumer prices, used by the European Central Bank, rose by 1 percent in February over January, and by 12.2 percent compared to February 2007.

On another front Bulgaria's economic growth accelerated in the fourth quarter driven by record levels of investment, construction and tourism in the first year of European Union membership. Bulgaria's economy expanded at an annual rate of 6.9 percent, up from a revised 4.9 percent during the previous three months, according to data released by the statistics office.

Bulgaria, which is the EU's poorest member with per-capita gross domestic product of just 37 percent of the EU average, is counting on investment and accelerating growth to help raise living standards. However dependence on food imports and the high global prices of grain and oil prices have fueled inflation and lead to a widening trade deficit. Agricultural output slid by 43% in the third quarter, floowing a drought and then heavy rain storms which destroyed vast areas of crops in the summer. Annual agricultural output declined a record 29.7 percent in 2007, greatly influenced by the third quarter performance and by a 36.4 percent year on year slump in the fourth quarter.

For whole year 2007 the Bulgarian economy grew by 6.2 percent, following revised growth of 6.3 percent in 2006.

Record foreign investment of almost $10 billion spurred the construction of hotels, offices and residential buildings, the data showed. Industry rose 18.2 percent, driven by a 17 percent growth in construction and 15 percent growth in manufacturing, as Western car makers moved production to Bulgaria to take advantage of low taxes and cheap labor.

Growth in gross fixed capital formation rose 14 percent, following a 19.7 percent rise in the third quarter. End-user consumption growth rose to 4.5 percent from 4.3 percent, of which individual consumption slowed to 3.4 percent from 4.9 percent, while public consumption was up 13.3 percent after a 2.5 percent decline in the previous quarter.

Exports rose 6 percent in the fourth quarter, after a 5.4 percent increase in the previous three months, while import growth slowed to 5.7 percent after a 9.3 percent increase in the previous quarter.

No comments: