Slovakia: Q4 GDP accelerates, matches preliminary estimate
March 5, 2014
In the fourth quarter, GDP matched the preliminary estimate and grew 1.5% over the same period of the previous year according to official data released by the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (SOSR) on 5 March. This result exceeded the 0.9% expansion recorded in Q3 and represented the largest growth rate since Q3 2012.
Economic growth was driven by an improvement in domestic demand, which increased 1.7% over the same quarter of the previous year (Q3: -1.9% year-on-year). Total consumption rose 0.8%, which was up from the 0.7% expansion recorded in Q3 and marked the largest value since Q1 2010. While private consumption increased 0.4% (Q3: +0.1% yoy), government consumption slowed slightly to a 2.5% expansion (Q3: +2.8% yoy). Fixed investment showed a strong increase of 4.0% in Q4 as compared to the 9.8% contraction that was recorded in Q3.
On the external front, exports expanded 6.6%, which was well above the 1.9% expansion tallied in Q3. Imports rose by 7.4% (Q3: -0.4% yoy) and reached the highest growth rate since Q2 2011. As a result, the external sector's net contribution to economic growth decreased from 2.1 percentage points in Q3 to 0.1 percentage points in Q4.
A quarter-on-quarter comparison confirms the acceleration that is suggested by the annual figures; GDP rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.4% over the previous quarter, which signifies a slight increase over the 0.2% expansion registered in the third quarter.
The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) projects that GDP will grow 2.1% in 2014 and 3.2% in 2015. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect GDP growth to reach 2.2% this year, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2015, the panel projects that economic growth will accelerate to 2.7%.