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SOFIA (Bulgaria), May 23 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's economy is expected to grow further on a quarterly comparison basis in the second and the third quarter of 2019, mainly on the back of a rise in domestic demand, the central bank said.
"At the same time, the increase in imports in line with the projected growth of domestic demand will boost the negative contribution of net exports to GDP growth from the end of 2018," the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) said in 2019 first-quarter economic review published on Wednesday.
In 2018, Bulgaria’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed down to 3.1%, from 3.8% a year earlier. Growth accelerated to 0.8% quarter-on-quarter in the last three months of 2018, from 0.7% in the previous quarter, as gross fixed capital formation, net exports and government consumption contributed positively, whereas the contribution of private consumption was negative.
According to flash data released by Bulgaria's statistical office NSI last week, the economy expanded by 3.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, after growing by 3.2% in the previous quarter. On a quarterly comparison basis, Bulgaria's GDP growth accelerated to 1.1% in the first quarter of 2019, from 0.8% in the fourth quarter of last year.
BNB also said that annual inflation is expected to slow down in the second and the third quarter of 2019 from 2.4% in February.
"The increased negative contribution of energy products in line with the expected downward dynamics in international oil prices in euro and the exhaustion of base effects in services will be the decisive factors for this trend," BNB noted.