It was the fastest expansion in three quarters, with growth mainly nudged by final consumption (+1.5 percent vs +0.7 percent in Q3), namely government spending (+3.1 percent vs +1.5 percent), amid increased expenditures on goods and health care benefits. Also, private spending advanced faster (+1.0 percent vs +0.5 percent), mainly due to a rise in services; and gross fixed investment went up 1.8 percent, reversing from a 4.6 percent contraction in the previous quarter. Meantime, exports shrank 2.2 percent (vs +3.9 percent), led by decreases in shipments of electrical and electronic equipment such as semiconductors. Conversely, imports edged up 0.6 percent (vs -0.7 percent), owing to purchases of crude oil and coal & petroleum products.
By economic activity, agricultural activity rebounded a sharp 5.8 percent, after a steep 5.5 percent fall in Q3, mainly due to an increase in livestock products. Utilities also rebounded by 4.0 percent, after dropping 0.4 percent, mostly due to higher sales of electricity; and construction grew by 1.1 percent, reversing from a 5.7 percent plunge, amid expansions in non-residential building construction and civil engineering. Meantime, services rose further (0.7 percent vs 0.5 percent), led by gains in wholesale and retail trade and health & social work services. On the other hand, manufacturing expanded at a much softer pace of 0.8 percent, compared to 2.3 percent growth in Q3.