In the fourth quarter, GDP expanded 4.7% over the same period the previous year, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute on 30 March. The reading came in a notch above the 4.6% preliminary estimate published on 30 January but well below the 6.5% expansion witnessed in the third quarter. Total consumption moderated from an 11.4% expansion in the third quarter to an 8.1% increase in the fourth, amid a slowdown in private consumption (Q3 2011: +17.8% year-on-year; Q4: +12.8% yoy). Government consumption remained in the red, albeit improving from a 10.5% contraction in the third quarter to a 5.7% decline in the fourth. Gross fixed investment picked up from an 11.0% rise in the third quarter to a healthy 16.9% increase. On the external side, exports contracted 5.6%, down from a 2.2% decline in the third quarter, while imports moderated to a 3.3% increase (Q3 2011: +12.0% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth stepped up from minus 5.9 percentage points in the third quarter to minus 4.3 percentage points. In the full year 2011, the economy expanded 5.2%, which was above the 4.1% increase tallied in 2010. The Central Bank expects GDP to grow between 3.0% and 4.0% this year.
Fourth quarter growth revised up a notch
March 30, 2012
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