Italy: GDP rises at the fastest rate in four years in Q1 2015
May 29, 2015
In Q1 2015, GDP recorded 0.3% growth over the previous quarter in seasonally- and working-day adjusted terms, according to more detailed data released by the National Statistics Office (ISTAT) on 29 May. The reading matched the preliminary estimate and came in above the flat reading observed in Q4 2014, marking the fastest growth rate in four years. Q1’s growth was mainly the result of a strong rebound in inventories, which was partially offset by a deterioration of the external sector.
Private consumption swung from a 0.1% increase in Q4 to a 0.1% contraction in Q1. Government consumption fell from a 0.4% increase to a 0.1% rise. However, fixed investment accelerated from a 0.2% increase in Q4 to a solid 1.5% expansion in Q1.
On the external side of the economy, growth in exports fell from 1.8% in Q4 to zero growth in Q1, while imports slowed from a 0.5% rise to a 1.4% increase. As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to overall growth swung from 0.4 percentage points in Q4 to minus 0.4 percentage points in Q1.
In annual terms, the economy grew 0.1% in Q1, which contrasted Q4’s minus 0.4 contraction and was slightly above the preliminary estimate of a flat growth. The reading was the highest since Q3 2011.
Author: Eric Denis , Economist