The largest contribution to growth was from foreign demand at 0.5 percentage points, followed by general government at 0.1 percentage points; while other components were neutral.
Exports of goods and services rose 2.7 percent from the previous period (vs 1.8 percent in Q3), while imports went up at a slower 2.0 percent (vs 1.1 percent in Q3). In addition, government spending increased by 0.5 percent, the same pace as in the previous three-month period. On the other hand, household consumption was unchanged from the previous period, following a slight contraction of 0.2 percent in the third quarter, and gross fixed capital formation showed no growth, after a 1.9 percent jump. Investiment in machinery and equipment was up 0.7 percent on a quarter earlier, while gross fixed capital formation in construction declined by 0.4 percent.
Year-on-year, the economy expanded a calendar-adjusted 2.9 percent, following a 2.7 percent growth in the previous period. It was the strongest pace of expansion since the third quarter of 2011, mainly due to a positive contribution from net trade, as exports jumped 5.6 percent (vs 4.9 percent in Q3) and imports rose at a softer 4.8 percent (vs 5.8 percent in Q3). Also, household consumption increased by 1.2 percent (vs 2 percent in Q3) and fixed investment was up by 3.3 percent (vs 3.4 percent in Q3), mainly boosted by investment in machinery and equipment (6 percent vs 4.5 percent in Q3) and construction (1.3 percent vs 2.8 percent in Q3). Government expenditure rose by 1.6 percent, the same pace as in the third quarter. Meantime, unadjusted data showed the economy advanced 2.3 percent on the year, following a 2.2 percent expansion in the previous period.