In the fourth quarter, household consumption rose by 0.2 percent, following a 0.4 percent increase in the third quarter, mainly driven by healthcare, housing and energy as well as hotel and restaurant services. Also, government spending went up by 0.5 percent, after a 0.4 percent advance in the previous period. In addition, construction investment jumped by 1.1 percent, much faster than a 0.2 percent rise in the previous period; while equipment and software investment contracted by 1.3 percent, the first fall in almost three year, after a 1.3 percent growth in Q3, due to a sharp decline in the volatile research and development heading.
Net foreign demand contributed negatively, as exports dropped for both goods (-1.4 percent vs 4.2 percent in Q3) and services (-2.7 percent vs 1.7 percent). Meanwhile, imports of goods jumped 4.4 percent (vs -0.9 percent in Q3) and those of services fell 5.1 percent (vs -0.7 percent in Q3).
Year-on-year, the GDP rose by 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter, following an increase of 1.2 percent in the previous period and beating market expectations of 1.8 percent.
Considering 2017 full year, the economy grew by 1.0 percent, compared with 1.4 percent in 2016. After a sluggish start to the year, the economic recovery became more broad-based and gained momentum in the second half of the year.