STRONG CONSUMER AND BUSINESS ACTIVITY PULLED Q4 GDP UP BY 5.6% YOY; GLOBAL ENERGY PRICE PRESSURES DROVE INFLATION TO POST-CRISIS HIGHS
The economy kept expanding, achieving growth rate of 5.6% YoY in Q4 as private consumption continued to drive GDP growth, while suppressed investments and negative net exports weighed on the expansionary pace. HICP index marked 6.6% YoY lift-off in the 2021 year-end, while 12-month average inflation stood at 2.8%. Budget deficit increased 10.7% YoY and stood at BGN 3.9bn (2.9% of GDP). Surpassing imports growth over exports brought accumulated trade deficit to 6.4% of GDP. Current account gap widened to BGN 1.4bn, reaching 2.0% of GDP. Labour market conditions improved with unemployment rate decreasing to 4.5%. The government debt stood at EUR 16.6bn (24.5% of GDPe) in the end of Q4’21.