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Bulgarian economy shrinks 0.1%: official data

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Bulgaria, in the grip of uncertainty over its budget, slipped back in the second quarter when the economy shrank by 0.1 percent from output in the first three months, official data showed on Wednesday

In the first quarter, gross domestic product (GDP) in the European Union's poorest country had expanded by 0.1 percent.

And on a 12-month basis, gross domestic product grew by 0.2 percent in the second quarter after expanding 0.4 percent in the first, the initial estimate from the NSI statistics institute showed.

Nationwide protests forced Bulgaria's previous government to resign in February, and the new administration has also been rocked by weeks of demonstrations, damaging business confidence.

On Friday technocrat Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski faces a stern test when his revised 2013 budget goes before parliament again after it was vetoed by the president.

The latest data showed that capital investment by companies fell 2.0 percent quarter-on-quarter, while domestic consumption grew 0.2 percent. Exports were unchanged while imports rose 1.5 percent. Agricultural output shrank 1.2 percent.

Bulgaria's economy, heavily dependent on exports, grew by 0.8 percent last year, far below the government's forecast of 1.2 percent. This year the government has projected an expansion of 1.0 percent.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130814/bulgarian-economy-shrinks-01-official-data