Guatemala: Economic growth accelerates in Q4 on robust domestic demand
April 8, 2013
In the fourth quarter, GDP expanded 3.2% over the same period the previous year, which was above the 2.5% rise observed in the third quarter (previously reported: +2.4% year-on-year). The print marks, in fact, the fastest expansion rate seen in three quarters. In the full year 2012, GDP expanded 3.0%, which is below the 4.2% rise seen in 2011 but in line with the preliminary estimate.
The improvement in Q4 reflected an acceleration in domestic demand, which grew a robust 4.8% (Q3 2012: +0.7% yoy). Total consumption gained ground in the last quarter of 2012 on the back of resilient private consumption (Q3: +1.7% yoy; Q4: +3.2% yoy) and soaring public spending (Q3: +9.3% yoy; Q4: +12.1% yoy). Meanwhile, fixed investment accelerated from a 4.6% rise in Q3 to a 5.7% expansion in the fourth quarter.
On a negative note, the external sector deteriorated sharply due to a rebound in imports of goods and services, which climbed 6.7% over the same period the year before (Q3: -3.2% yoy). On the other hand, exports slowed to a 2.5% rise (Q3: +7.1% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth swung from plus 2.9 percentage points in the third quarter to minus 1.5 percentage points in the fourth.
The Central Bank expects the economy to grow between 3.5% and 3.9% in 2013. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants see GDP growing 3.3% this year, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For next year, panellists expect the economy to expand 3.4