Trade, catering and accommodation (0.3 percent vs 1.1 percent in Q3), utilities (1.1 percent vs 1.4 percent) and government services (1.0 percent vs 1.6 percent) rose much less. In addition, declines were seen in agriculture, forestry & fishing (-0.6 percent vs 9.4 percent); mining (-3.4 percent vs -3.8 percent) and construction (-1.1 percent vs -0.8 percent).
Meanwhile, faster growth was recorded in finance, real estate and business services (3.1 percent vs 1.9 percent); personal services (1.1 percent vs 0.7 percent); transport, storage & communication (2.4 percent vs 1.9 percent) and manufacturing (1.3 percent vs 1.2 percent).
On a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis, the economy expanded 1.4 percent on quarter in the three months to December of 2018, following an upwardly revised 2.6 percent growth in the previous period and missing market expectations of a 1.8 percent growth. The slowdown was mainly driven by manufacturing, agriculture, trade, catering & accomodation and public administration.
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).
The government and central bank see the economy expanding by 1.5 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, in 2019.