1. Throughout the period 2014 to 2017, 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 2018 over first quarter 2017)
2. GVA growth rate for the first quarter of 2018 over the corresponding quarter of 2017 is estimated at 3.6%. The growth was mainly due to:
(i) “Financial and insurance activities” contributing 0.7 percentage point;
(ii) “Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles” and “Accommodation and food service activities” each contributing 0.4 percentage point and
(iii) “Construction”, “Transport and storage”, “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 3.5% in the first quarter of 2018. Final consumption expenditure of households grew by 3.2% and that of general government increased by 5.2%.
4. Investment declined by 1.5% in the first quarter of 2018 as opposed to a growth of 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2017. The 1.5% decline in the first quarter of 2018 was due to growth of 5.7% in “Building and construction work”, partly offset by a decline of 12.6% in “Machinery and equipment”.
5. Exports of goods and services further contracted by 5.3% in the first quarter of 2018 after that of 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Imports of goods and services declined by 6.5% in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 9.9% growth in the previous quarter.
Quarter to quarter GVA growth (based on seasonally adjusted GVA)
6. Based on seasonally adjusted data, quarter to quarter GVA grew by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2018 compared to a growth of 1.0% in the fourth quarter of 2017.