In the first quarter, government spending rose by 2.71 percent, reversing from a 4.05 percent decline in the December quarter. Private non-profit expenditure expanded by 8.02 percent, as compared to a 6.72 percent growth in the preceding quarter. Exports increased by 8.04 percent, much faster than a 4.24 percent expansion in previous quarter. Imports also rose by 5.02 percent, after registering a 2.82 percent increase. Gross fixed capital formation grew by 4.81 percent, compared to a 4.80 percent rise in the previous three months. Private consumption expanded by 4.93 percent year-on-year, slower than a 4.99 percent growth in the preceding quarter.
On the production side, growth was faster for most sectors: other services (8.01 percent from 7.69 percent in the prior quarter), hotel and restaurants (4.68 percent from 4.47 percent), construction (6.26 percent from 4.21 percent), finance (5.73 percent from 4.18 percent), healthcare (7.13 percent from 4.10 percent), real estate (3.67 percent from 3.65 percent), manufacturing (4.21 percent from 3.36 percent), government administration (0.58 percent from 0.27 percent), agriculture (7.12 percent from 5.31 percent), wholesale (4.77 percent from 3.90 percent), education (4.11 percent from 3.12 percent), water and waste management (4.39 percent from 2.66 percent). Activities rose at a slower pace for : business services (6.80 percent from 6.83 percent), electricity and gas (1.60 percent from 3.14 percent), and information (9.10 percent from 9.57 percent) while mining fell (-0.49 percent from 1.60 percent).
For the second quarter of the year, the country's central bank expects domestic economy to expand further, supported by stronger investment and rising exports while consumption should remain relatively stable. Higher commodity prices and strengthening demand due to global recovery are expected to drive investment and exports. In addition, the central bank views the role of fiscal stimuli, in terms of catalysing economic growth, should be maintained.
For full 2017, the economy is projected to grow by 5.2 percent, accelerating from a 5.02 percent expansion in 2016.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the economy shrank 0.34 percent in the three months to March 2017, following a 1.77 percent decline in the December quarter and compared to market consensus of a 0.35 percent fall.