1. Throughout the period 2016 to 2019, the quarterly GDP followed almost the same seasonal pattern each 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.
Year-on-year growth rates
2. GVA growth rate for the first quarter of 2020 over the corresponding quarter of 2019 is estimated at -1.4%. The contraction is due mainly to:
(i) “Accommodation and food service activities” (-1.1 percentage points)
(ii) “Manufacturing” (-0.4 percentage point)
(iii) “Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles” (-0.4 percentage point)
(iv) “Construction” -0.3 percentage point) and
(v) “Transport and storage” (-0.3 percentage point) partly offset by
(vi) “Financial and insurance activities” (0.6 percentage point).
Quarterly growth rates of components of expenditure
3. Total final consumption expenditure in real terms declined by 2.7% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to a growth of 3.0% observed in the corresponding quarter of 2019. Final consumption expenditure of households contracted by 2.9% while that of general government declined by 1.8%.
4. Investment (Gross fixed capital formation) contracted by 9.3% compared to a growth of 2.9% observed in the fourth quarter of 2019. The 9.3% decrease resulted from contractions in “Building and construction work” (7.2%) and “Machinery and equipment” (13.2%).
5. Exports of goods and services further contracted by 10.6% after that of 12.6% in the previous quarter. The contraction is due to a declines of 10.9% and 10.5% in exports of goods and export of services respectively.
Quarter-to-quarter GVA growth (based on seasonally adjusted GVA)
6. Based on seasonally adjusted data, quarter to quarter GVA registered a contraction of 3.6% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to a growth of 1.5% in the previous quarter.