Slovakia: Growth improves slightly in Q1
March 8, 2017
The Slovak economy started the year on a strong footing. In the first quarter, GDP expanded 3.1% over the same period a year earlier according to official data released by the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (SOSR). Driven by a recovery in fixed investment and robust private consumption, the print was a slight improvement from Q4’s 3.0% result.
Fixed investment managed to grow in Q1 after having contracted for two consecutive quarter at double-digit rates (Q1: +0.9% year-on-year; Q4: -15.0% yoy). Private consumption was the other main contributor to GDP growth in Q1 as it expanded a strong 3.4% annually in Q1 (Q4: +3.3% yoy), the fastest pace in over nine years on the back of healthy dynamics in the labor market. Meanwhile, government consumption was the only drag on growth in the first quarter (Q1: -0.7% yoy; Q4: -1.0% yoy).
With respect to the external sector, exports growth accelerated to 8.6% in Q1 (Q4: +6.3% yoy), while imports growth also improved to 8.3% (Q4: +4.5% yoy). All told, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth decreased to 1.0 percentage point in Q1 from 2.0 percentage points in Q4.
On a sequential basis, the economy grew a seasonally-adjusted 0.8% in Q1, which matched the preceding quarter’s print.
Author: Luis Lopez Vivas, Economist