Costa Rica: Economic growth slows down in Q1
June 28, 2013
In the first quarter, GDP expanded 1.2% over the same period last year. The reading came in well below the 3.4% increase seen in the preceding quarter.
The deceleration in Q1 was entirely driven by lower growth in domestic demand, as the external sector improved over the previous quarter. Total consumption expanded 2.5% in Q1, well below the 4.3% increase seen in the previous, with private consumption rising 2.5% (Q4 2012: +4.6% year-on-year) and government consumption increasing 2.2% (Q4: +1.9% yoy). Meanwhile, gross fixed investment accelerated from a 9.1% expansion in the fourth quarter to a 9.6% increase in the first.
On the external side of the economy, exports of goods and services decelerated from a 6.7% expansion in the fourth quarter to a 1.4% increase in the first. However, import growth experienced a more significant deterioration, contracting 1.7% in the first quarter (Q4: +6.0% yoy). As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth rose from 0.2 percentage points in the fourth quarter to 1.6 percentage points in the first.
A quarter-on-quarter comparison corroborates the slowdown suggested by the annual figures as GDP expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.1% over the previous quarter, well above the 0.2% increase seen in the fourth quarter.
According to the latest revision to the Macroeconomic Programme 2012-2013, the Central Bank sees the economy expanding 4.2% this year. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists see growth at 3.9% this year, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's projection. For 2014, participants see economic growth at 4.5%.