Costa Rica: GDP growth moderates in Q4
March 31, 2016
In the fourth quarter of 2015, GDP expanded 3.8% over the same period of the previous year, according the Central Bank’s revised accounting methodology. Q4’s figure is below Q3’s 4.2% increase, and brings full-year 2015 GDP growth to 3.7%. The modest deceleration reflects a drastic deterioration in the external sector which was partially offset by a notable improvement of domestic demand.
In Q4, domestic demand increased from Q3’s 8.1% rise to a much stronger 9.2% expansion. Private consumption rose 5.0%, matching Q3’s increase, while government spending recorded a 1.6% expansion in Q4, down from Q3’s print of 2.2%. Gross fixed investment plummeted from a 6.2% increase in Q3 to a meager 0.4% expansion in Q4. The contraction in inventories continued in Q4, falling 2.8%, which marked a deterioration over Q3’s 0.5% contraction.
On the external side of the economy, exports of goods and services registered a 0.3% contraction in Q4 (Q3: -2.7% year-on-year). Imports on the other hand witnessed a sharp increase, expanding 11.0%, which was up from Q3’s 8.2% increase. As exports contracted and imports expanded, the external sector detracted from growth in Q4.
Author: Robert Hill, Economist