Within the goods producing industries, manufacturing output grew at a much faster pace of 9.8 percent (vs 10.1 percent in advanced data), following a 4.8 percent jump in the fourth quarter of 2017, with all the clusters expanding in Q1, led by electronics and precision engineering and contributing the most to the sector’s growth. On the other hand, construction output shrank by 5.0 percent after a 5.0 percent contraction in the previous quarters (and vs a 4.4 percent fall in advanced estimate), explained by weakness in both private and public construction works.
The services producing industries also gained steam, expanding 4.1 percent in the first quarter after growing by 3.5 percent in the previous three months and above 3.8 percent in the preliminary figures. Growth was mainly supported by finance & insurance (9.1 percent vs 6.3 percent in Q4) and information & communications (5.7 percent vs 6 percent in Q4).
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the GDP rose by 1.7 percent, below the 2.1 percent expansion and compared to 1.4 percent in advanced data.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry expects GDP growth for 2018 between 2.5 to 3.5 percent.