1. Throughout the period 2012 to 2015, the quarterly GDP follows almost the same seasonal pattern every year. Production is relatively low in the first quarter, increases gradually in the two subsequent quarters and peaks in the last quarter before declining in the first quarter of the following year.
Quarterly growth rate by industry group (first quarter 2016 over first quarter 2015)
2. GDP growth rate for the first quarter of 2016 over the corresponding quarter of 2015 is estimated at 3.7%. This growth is mainly due to: “Accommodation and food service activities” contributing 1.0 percentage point, “ Public administration and Defence: compulsory social security” contributing 0.8 percentage point, “Financial and insurance activities” contributing 0.7 percentage point, and “Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles”, “Information and communication” and “Professional, scientific and technical activities" each contributing 0.3 percentage point.
Quarterly growth rates of components of expenditure
3. Total final consumption expenditure in real terms increased by 3.6% in the first quarter of 2016, higher than the 2.4% growth registered in the last quarter of 2015. Final consumption expenditure of households grew by 2.7% compared to 3.0% in the previous quarter while that of general government grew by 8.2% after a contraction of 1.2% in the last quarter of 2015.
4. Investment continued to decline in the first quarter of 2016 with a negative growth rate of 1.1% following the contraction of 13.7% in the last quarter of 2015. The negative growth of 1.1% was the net result of a decline of 6.9% in “Building and construction work” partly offset by a growth of 8.7% in “Machinery and equipment”.
5. Exports of goods and services contracted further by 5.9% in the first quarter of 2016 following a decline of 5.5% in the previous quarter. Imports of goods and services declined by 1.3% in the first quarter of 2016 after a growth of 3.2% in the last quarter of 2015.
Quarter to quarter GDP growth (based on seasonally adjusted GDP)
6. Quarter to quarter GDP growth rates based on seasonally adjusted data, show that the economy improved by 0.9% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to 0.6% in the last quarter of 2015.