On the expenditure side of the accounts, fixed investment surged 6.1 percent, rebounding from a steep contraction of 35.7 percent in the previous three-month period; and government spending went up 0.8 percent, after a 0.7 percent gain in Q3. Meanwhile, personal consumption growth slowed to 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter from 1.9 percent in Q3.
There was a modest increase in net exports of EUR 475 million, or 1.6 percent, during the quarter, with exports rising by 4.4 percent (vs 4.7 percent in Q3) and imports advancing 5.7 percent (vs -10.4 percent in Q3).
On the output side, industry made the most positive contribution to the Q4 result, rising by 8.9 percent (vs 5.2 percent in Q3), within which manufacturing recorded a 9.1 percent advance (vs 6 percent in Q3). Increases were also recorded in information and communication (3.5 percent vs 5.8 percent), construction (2.9 percent vs 4.4 percent), financial and insurance activities (1.8 percent vs 4.4 percent) and professional, admin and support services (1.6 percent vs 0.4 percent). In addition, distribution, transport, hotels and restaurants increased by 1.1 percent (vs 1.9 percent in Q3), while agriculture decreased by 6.2 percent (vs 4 percent in Q3).
Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the GDP expanded by 8.4 percent, following an upwardly revised 10.9 percent growth in the previous period.
In 2017, the GDP increased by 7.8 percent, compared with 5.1 percent in 2016. Net exports rose strongly by 65.2 percent during 2017 and personal consumption, which accounts for almost half of domestic demand, rose by 1.9 percent (vs 3.3 percent) while government expenditure exhibited an increase of 1.8 percent (vs 5.3 percent). Capital investment declined by 22.3 percent in 2017 compared with a 61.2 percent growth in 2016.