Uruguay: GDP growth eases in Q4; slows down in full year
March 27, 2015
In Q4, GDP grew 3.3% over the same quarter of the previous year, marking a deceleration compared to the 3.7% growth recorded in Q3. The deceleration was driven by a significant slowdown in domestic demand and a slight contraction in exports. In the full year 2014, the economy expanded 3.3%, which was notably below the 4.4% expansion recorded in 2013 and marked the lowest rate of growth in five years.
On the domestic side of the economy, total consumption expanded 3.6% in Q4, which was markedly below the 3.9% increase recorded in Q3. Private consumption slowed from a 4.1% rise in Q3 to a 3.7% expansion in Q4. Government spending also decelerated, posting a 2.4% growth (Q3: 2.7% year-on-year). Finally, fixed investment swung from a healthy 2.7% rise in Q3 to a sharp 6.7% contraction in Q4, which marked the lowest reading since Q4 2009.
Exports of goods and services contracted 0.3% in the final quarter of last year, which contrasted the 3.8% expansion tallied in the previous quarter. Imports tumbled from a 2.2% decrease in Q3 to an 8.3% contraction in Q4. Since imports declined much faster than exports, the contribution of the external sector to overall growth improved from plus 7.1 percentage points in Q3 to plus 10.9 percentage points in Q4.
A quarter-on-quarter comparison does not confirm the deceleration evidenced by annual growth figures. The economy increased 1.2% in Q4 over the previous quarter in seasonally-adjusted terms, which was notably above the 0.1% rise observed in Q3 and marked a one-year high.
Author: Cecilia Simkievich, Economist