Slovakia: GDP slows further in Q1
June 5, 2013
In the first quarter, GDP grew 0.6% over the same period last year, which was in line with the flash estimate reported by the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (SOSR) on 15 May. The print was slightly below the 0.7% rise tallied in the fourth quarter and marks, in fact, the slowest growth rate recorded in more than three years.
The deceleration in Q1 was broad-based as both domestic and external demand deteriorated. Private consumption contracted 0.9% in the first quarter (Q4 2012: -1.2% year-on-year), while government spending fell 0.6% (Q4: -0.3% yoy). Moreover, fixed investment contracted 8.4% (Q4: -5.0% yoy).
Exports of goods and services moderated to a 4.2% rise in Q1, down from the 7.1% increase registered in Q4, while imports rose 1.6% (Q4: +4.2% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall economic growth fell from 3.1 percentage points in the fourth quarter to 2.7 percentage points in the first.
A quarter-on-quarter comparison, however, does not corroborate the deceleration suggested by annual data, as GDP rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% over the previous quarter, mirroring the result recorded in Q4.
The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) projects GDP to grow 0.7% in 2013 and 2.8% in 2014. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect GDP growth to reach 1.3% this year, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month forecast. For 2014, the panel projects economic growth to accelerate to 2.6%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions