Ecuador: GDP growth slows in last quarter of 2011
March 30, 2012
In the fourth quarter, GDP expanded 6.1% over the same period the year before, which undershot the revised 7.9% expansion observed in the third quarter (initially reported: +9.0% year-on-year) and represented, in fact, the slowest pace of expansion since Q3 2010. In the full year 2011, GDP expanded 7.8%, which more than doubled the 3.6% rise observed in 2010 and marked the strongest economic growth since 2004. The slower expansion observed in the fourth quarter reflected a noticeable deterioration in the external sector, while domestic demand improved. Total consumption rose 4.8% annually, slower than the 5.7% expansion observed in Q3. In addition, gross fixed investment increased a healthy 10.1%, which was below the 11.0% rise registered in the third quarter. That said, domestic demand benefited from lower destocking process. Exports of goods and services decelerated sharply from an 11.8% expansion in the third quarter to a 4.8% rise in the fourth. On the other hand, imports continued to decline, falling 2.1% in Q4 (Q3 2011: -1.8% year-on-year). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall economic growth fell from 4.9 percentage points in Q3 to 2.7 percentage points in Q4. A quarter-on-quarter comparison corroborates the deceleration suggested by the annual figures, as the economy expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.01% over the previous quarter, down from the 1.45% increase tallied in the third quarter. The Central Bank expects the economy to expand 5.35% in 2012.