Bulgarian economy grows official 0.1% in last quarter

The Bulgarian economy grew by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the July-to-September period, boosted by a 1.3-percent rise in exports, preliminary data showed on Thursday.

Household consumption registered a 0.1-percent quarter-on-quarter rise, while imports slumped by as much as 4.4 percent, according to a flash estimate of the national statistics institute.

Compared to output in the same period of 2011, gross domestic product was up 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter.

Bulgarian quarter-on-quarter GDP had expanded by 0.1 percent in the third quarter and by 0.3 percent in the second quarter of last year after remaining unchanged in the January-March period.

Year-on-year GDP growth was 0.5 percent in all four quarters of 2012.

The national statistics institute is due to publish its final fourth-quarter growth figures on March 6.

The Bulgarian government forecasts that the non-eurozone EU member state's economy will notch up an overall 1.4-percent rise in output in 2012 and eyes 1.9-percent growth this year.

Bulgaria's 12-month inflation was 4.4 percent in January, up from 4.2 percent in December 2012, the statistics institute also said Thursday.

On a month-on-month basis, the consumer price index (CPI) was up by 0.4 percent last month.

Using the European Union's harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP), the European Central Bank's inflation yardstick, 12-month inflation was 2.6 percent in January, down from 2.8 percent in December 2011.