On the expenditure side, household expenditure grew 1.3 percent (vs 1.5 percent in Q4) and fixed investment advanced 0.9 percent (vs 3 percent in Q3). On the other hand, government spending went up 0.1 percent, rebounding from a 0.7 percent contraction in the prior quarter. Exports rose 1 percent, lower than a 12 percent gain in the last quarter of 2018 while imports declined 2.5 percent (vs 6 percent in Q4).
On the production side, industrial activity shrank 1.1 percent, following a 0.5 percent contraction in the prior quarter, mainly due to mining (-3 percent vs 3.9 percent), manufacturing (-1.7 percent vs -1.5 percent) and construction (-2.2 percent, the same as in Q4 2018). Meanwhile, output rose further in utilities (4.7 percent vs 4.6 percent). Additionally, agriculture output contracted 0.1 percent, after rising 2.4 percent in the last quarter of 2018. On the other hand, the service industries grew 1.2 percent following a 1.1 percent expansion in Q4, boosted by financial, insurance and related services activities (0.3 percent vs -0.5 percent); information and communication (3.8 percent vs 2.5 percent); and public health, education and social security (0.5 percent vs 0.1 percent). On the other hand, output growth slowed in trade (0.5 percent vs 0.9 percent); transport and storage (0.2 percent vs 1.7 percent); real estate activities (3 percent vs 3.4 percent); and other service activities (1.4 percent vs 1.5 percent).
On a quarterly basis, the economy shrank 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019, after a 0.1 percent expansion in the previous period and in line with market expectations. It was the first contraction since the last quarter of 2016.