Romania: Growth jumps in Q1
A comprehensive estimate released by the Statistical Institute on 6 June revealed that output grew 5.0% year-on-year in the first quarter (Q4 2018: +4.1% year-on-year)—the strongest outturn in more than a year. Notably, first-quarter growth overshot analysts’ expectations on blazing domestic demand.
Household spending remained firmly in the driver’s seat, picking up 6.7% year-on-year (Q4: +5.9% yoy) amid the tight labor market and lower inflation. Government spending, for its part, also picked up (Q1: +4.8% yoy; Q4 2018: -6.0% yoy). Notably, fixed investment rebounded at the outset of the year on what appeared to be the improved absorption of EU-linked structural funds; fixed capital outlays jumped 5.4% (Q4 2018: -3.2% yoy).
Export growth, meanwhile, slowed to 3.5% year-on-year (Q4 2018: +4.4% yoy) on shakier demand from much of the Eurozone. On the other hand, buoyant economic activity propeled import growth to 9.5% (Q4 2018: +9.0% yoy). Taken together, net exports’ negative contribution to growth in the first quarter nearly doubled from the fourth quarter of last year.
On a seasonally-adjusted basis, output grew 1.3% quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2018: +1.0% quarter-on-quarter s.a.).