Costa Rica: Economic growth quickens in the last quarter of 2011
March 30, 2012
In the fourth quarter, GDP added 5.2% over the same period the previous year, which was above the 4.6% increase recorded in the third quarter (previously reported: +4.9% year-on-year). The acceleration was driven by an improvement in domestic demand, which more than compensated for a deterioration in the external sector. For the full year 2011, GDP rose 4.2%, in line with the Central Bank's estimate but below the 4.7% expansion recorded in 2010. Domestic demand accelerated to a 7.8% expansion in Q4, up from the 5.6% increase seen in the previous quarter, mainly due to stronger investment. Total consumption expanded 4.2% in Q4, virtually unchanged from the 4.3% increase in the previous quarter, while gross fixed investment accelerated to a strong 13.0% expansion over the same period last year (Q3: +10.7% yoy). Exports of goods and services expanded 12.3%, above the 10.0% increase recorded in the third quarter, whereas imports accelerated to a 12.1% increase (Q3: +9.8% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth deteriorated from minus 0.7 percentage points in the third quarter to minus 2.4 percentage points in the fourth. The Central Bank sees the economy expanding 3.8% this year before slowing to 3.5% in 2013.