BULGARIA’S GDP DOWN 5% IN 2009

Bulgaria’s gross domestic product fell by 5% in 2009, ending a three-year growth pattern, the National Statistics Office in Sofia said on Thursday.
The slump has been revised upwards from the flash data that the statistics office provided a month ago, according to which the Bulgarian economy in 2009 shrank by 5,1% over 2008.
The contraction, which followed robust growth of 6,2 and 6% in 2007 and 2008, reflects the global economic crisis, the NSI said.
Despite the upward revision of the data, the last quarter of 2009 remains the weakest for the whole year with a 5,9% fall after the economy contracted by 3,5%, 4,7% and 5,4% during the first three quarters respectively.
Despite the annual decline, it was less severe than the International Monetary Fund’s forecast of a 6,5%.
Bulgaria’s conservative government has based its 2010 budget on a 2% fall of the gross domestic product, though it revised its expectations upwards by 0,3% in late January. The growth is expected to be due to a recovery of the Bulgarian economy in the second half of the year. Novinite

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