Guatemala: Economic slows down in Q4
April 7, 2014
In the final quarter of 2013, the economy expanded 3.1% over the same period of the previous year. The figure marked a deterioration compared to the 4.0% increase tallied in the third quarter.
The slowdown in Q4 reflects a weakening in domestic demand, whereas the external sector improved over the previous quarter. Total consumption slowed from a 4.9% increase in the third quarter to a 2.7% rise in the fourth quarter on the back of a moderation in private consumption (Q3: +4.8% year-on-year; Q4: +3.4% yoy) and a contraction in government consumption (Q3: +5.4% yoy; Q4: -1.9% yoy). In addition, fixed investment lost ground in Q4 and increased just 0.3% (Q3: +8.2% yoy).
On the external side of the economy, exports of goods and services rose 5.9% over the same period of the previous year (Q3: +3.5% yoy), while imports expanded 3.4% (Q3: +7.5% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth swung from minus 1.8 percentage points in Q3 to plus 0.3 percentage points in Q4.
The Central Bank expects the economy to grow between 3.3% and 3.9% in 2014. Consensus Forecast participants see GDP growing 3.6% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2015, panelists expect the economy to expand also 3.6%.
Author: Dirina Mançellari, Senior Economist