Guatemala: Economic growth accelerates to a seven-quarter high in Q2
October 2, 2013
In the second quarter, GDP expanded 4.3% over the same period last year, which was well above the 2.8% rise observed in the first quarter (previously reported: +2.4% year-on-year). The print, in fact, marks the strongest expansion since Q3 2011.
The improvement in Q2 reflects an acceleration in domestic demand, whereas the external sector deteriorated over the previous quarter. Total consumption gained ground in the second quarter (Q1: +2.0% yoy; Q2: +4.7% yoy) on the back of rising private consumption (Q1: +1.9% yoy; Q2: +3.6% yoy) and a huge expansion in public spending (Q1: +2.8% yoy; Q2: +13.5% yoy). Fixed investment, however, deteriorated compared to the previous quarter, falling 1.4% (Q1: -0.1% yoy).
On the external side of the economy, exports of goods and services climbed 7.8% over the same period last year (Q1: +4.5% yoy), while imports rebounded from a 1.1% contraction in Q1 to a 6.0% rise in Q2. As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth swung from plus 1.6 percentage points in the first quarter to minus 0.2 percentage points in the second.
The Central Bank expects the economy to grow between 3.2% and 3.6% in 2013. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants see GDP growing 3.3% this year, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For next year, panelists expect the economy to expand 3.5%, which is down 0.1 percentage points over the previous month's estimate.