Costa Rica: Economic growth speeds up in 2012
March 27, 2013
In the fourth quarter, GDP expanded 3.4% over the same period the previous year. The reading came in slightly below the 3.8% increase seen in the preceding quarter. For the full year 2012, GDP rose 5.1%, up from the 4.2% expansion recorded in 2011.
The deceleration in Q4 was driven by a deterioration of the external sector. Exports of goods and services accelerated from a 4.6% expansion in the third quarter to a 6.7% increase in the fourth quarter. However, import growth also experienced a notable increase, rising from 3.3% in the third quarter to 6.0% in the fourth. As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth fell from 0.8 percentage points in the third quarter to 0.2 percentage points in the fourth.
On the domestic side of the economy, total consumption expanded 4.3% in the last quarter of 2012, virtually mirroring the revised 4.2% increase seen in the previous quarter (previously reported: +3.9%), as both private and government consumption remained virtually unchanged over Q3. Meanwhile, gross fixed investment accelerated strongly from a revised 3.3% expansion in the third quarter (previously reported: +4.3%) to a 9.1% increase in the fourth.
A quarter-on-quarter comparison corroborates the slowdown suggested by the annual figures as GDP expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.2% over the previous quarter, below the 0.6% increase seen in the third quarter.
According to the latest revision to the Macroeconomic Programme 2012-2013, the Central Bank sees the economy expanding 4.2% this year. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists see growth at 3.9% this year, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's projection. For 2014, participants see economic growth at 4.5%.