Spain's quarterly economic growth was revised lower to 0.6 percent in the last three months of 2018 from a preliminary estimate of 0.7 percent and compared to the July-September period's 0.5 percent. Net external demand contributed positively to the expansion, while household consumption rose at a softer pace and fixed investment contracted.
Exports surged 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter (vs -0.8 percent in Q3) while imports were unchanged (vs -0.9 percent in Q3).
Household consumption growth eased to 0.4 percent from 0.6 percent in the previous period; and government spending expansion also slowed to 0.4 percent from 0.8 percent. Meanwhile, fixed investment shrank 0.2 percent (vs 0.2 percent in Q3), as investment in tangible fixed assets dropped (-0.3 percent vs 0.2 percent in Q3) led by machinery, equipment, weapon system and biological resources (-2.7 percent vs -0.3 percent). Investment in intellectual property products, however, advanced 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter, after a 0.3 percent gain in the previous three-month period.
On the production side, services output growth was unchanged at 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter while construction expansion eased to 1 percent from 1.9 percent. By contrast, industry output continued to contract (-1 percent vs -0.3 percent in Q3) due to a decline in manufacturing (-0.3 percent vs -0.4 percent). Agriculture activity rebounded sharply (4.6 percent vs -3.6 percent).
On an annual basis the economy grew by 2.3 percent in the three months to December, also below a flash estimate of 2.4 percent, and down from a revised 2.5 percent in the third quarter. This was the weakest growth rate since the last quarter of 2014.
Considering 2018 full year, Spain's economy grew 2.6 percent, compared to a 3.0 percent expansion in 2017. Spain's Government forecasts 2019 GDP growth at 2.2 percent.
3/29/2019 8:47:42 AM