Services expanded 3.2 percent in the third quarter of 2018, below a preliminary estimate of 3.4 percent but and at the same pace as a downwardly revised 3.2 percent rise in the prior period. Growth slowed in: wholesale trade (1.8 percent vs 3.6 percent); transport and storage (3.4 percent vs 3.8 percent); information and communication (4.4 percent vs 7.7 percent); business services (5.5 percent vs 7.3 percent) and education (0.2 percent vs 1.2 percent). Meanwhile, faster growth was seen in financial services & insurance (8.5 percent vs 4.5 percent in Q2); retail trade (5.5 percent vs 3.6 percent) and health care & social assistance (3.3 percent vs 2.3 percent). Also, output rebounded for professional, scientific and technical services (3.1 percent vs -0.3 percent) and cultural and sports activities (1.9 percent vs -1.1 percent). At the same time, real estate activities increased at the same pace (2.3 percent).
The industrial sector advanced 1.1 percent, matching the preliminary figure, but below a 1.3 percent increase in the second quarter. Manufacturing activity increased 2.3 percent, slowing from a 3.3 percent growth in the previous period. In addition, output rose less for construction (0.7 percent vs 2.4 percent) while it continued to fall in mining (-2.9 percent vs -6.0 percent). Conversely, the utilities sector expanded robustly (4.0 percent vs 2.1 percent).
Meanwhile, the agricultural sector grew 2.2 percent, in line with an earlier reading, and above a downwardly revised 1.5 percent advance in the prior period.
On a quarterly basis, the economy expanded 0.8 percent, less than a preliminary estimate of 0.9 percent and compared to a downwardly revised 0.1 percent contraction in the second quarter.