Bulgaria’s economy grew at the fastest pace in three quarters in the first three months of the year, flash estimates from the National Statistical Institute showed on Wednesday. Gross domestic product grew 3.4 percent year-on-year following a 3.2 percent increase in the final three months of 2018. The latest pace of annual growth was the fastest since the second quarter of 2018, when the economy expanded at the same 3.4 percent. Compared to the previous three months, GDP increased 1.1 percent in the first quarter after a 0.8 percent expansion in the fourth quarter of 2018. Bulgaria’s quarterly growth rate topped the EU expansion of 0.5 percent in the first quarter. Export growth more than doubled to 5 percent year-on-year, while the increase in imports rose slightly to 1.7 percent. Consumption growth slowed sharply to 3.5 percent from 5 percent, and growth in investment tumbled to 2.6 percent from 6.6 percent.

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