Manufacturing grew 4.5 percent, slowing from a 7.5 percent expansion, driven by production of petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products, motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment, and food and beverages.
The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector rose 7.9 percent, after rising 13.7 percent in the third quarter. The increase was supported by higher production of field crops.
The electricity, gas and water industry grew 0.2 percent compared to a 0.8 percent rise in the previous period, largely due to an increase in electricity consumed and water distributed.
Meantime, contractions were seen in trade, catering & accommodation (-0.7 percent vs 3.4 percent); government services (-0.6 percent vs 1.9 percent), owing to a decrease in employment; and mining & quarrying (-3.8 percent vs -8.9 percent), amid lower production in mining of gold and ‘other’ mining and quarrying (including diamonds). Also, the construction sector shrank (-0.7 percent vs -1.7 percent), with decreases reported for residential buildings, non-residential buildings and construction works.
Conversely, transport, storage & communications (7.7 percent vs 6.8 percent); finance, insurance and business services (2.7 percent vs 2.1 percent) and personal services (1.7 percent vs 0.6 percent) grew at a faster pace.
Year-on-year, the economy advanced 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, after an upwardly revised 1.3 percent growth in the prior period and compared with market consensus of a 0.6 percent advance.
Considering full 2018, the GDP advanced 0.8 percent, far below an upwardly revised 1.4 percent in 2017. Slower expansions were observed in finance, insurance and business services (1.8 percent vs 2.1 percent) and personal services (1.0 percent vs 1.3 percent). Additionally, contractions were recorded in agriculture (-4.8 percent vs 21.1 percent); mining (-1.7 percent vs 4.2 percent) and construction (-1.2 percent vs -0.6 percent). On the other hand, manufacturing rebounded (1 percent vs -0.2 percent).