Slovakia: Growth ticks up in Q1 on upbeat external demand
The economy got off to a good start in the first quarter of the year, amid upbeat external demand and despite an across-the-board slowdown in the domestic economy. GDP rose 3.7% year-on-year in Q1, edging up from Q4 2018’s 3.6% outturn, according to detailed national accounts data released on 6 June.
Domestic demand lost stride in the first quarter. Household spending reported the slowest expansion in over five years, against the backdrop of higher inflation and lower consumer sentiment (Q1: +1.0% year-on-year; Q4 2018: +3.4% yoy). Meanwhile, fixed investment growth plunged (Q1: +2.0% yoy; Q4: +9.0% yoy), owing to finished projects in the auto sector, while government consumption growth also more than halved (Q1: +3.8% yoy; Q4: +1.5% yoy).
The external sector, conversely, strengthened in the quarter on strengthening export growth and slumping import growth. Export growth accelerated to 7.2% year-on-year (Q4: +4.7% yoy), thanks to upbeat external demand and strong industrial production in the auto sector, while import growth slowed to 6.4% (Q4: +7.8% yoy).
On a quarter-on-quarter, seasonally-adjusted basis, GDP growth in the first quarter came in at 0.9%, up from the 0.8% expansion logged in Q4.