By economic activity, advanced estimates showed manufacturing expanded at a faster 3.0 percent rate, gaining steam from the 2.7 percent growth in the previous quarter. Services also expanded at a higher rate of 3.0 percent, compared to 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. Agriculture also grew faster (4.6 percent vs 1.5 percent). In contrast, construction grew at a slower 1.3 percent (vs 2.7 percent in Q4 2017) and utilities contracted 0.1 percent after expanding 6.0 percent in the preceding period.
On the expenditure side, consumption expanded at a faster clip of 4.0 percent (vs 3.5 percent in the previous quarter), triggered by a 6.1 percent growth in government consumption; private spending expanded by 3.4 percent for the second quarter. Meantime, exports rebounded 1.6 percent (vs -0.6 percent), while imports grew at a faster rate of 4.7 percent (vs 4.1 percent). In contrast, gross fixed capital formation lost steam and expanded 4.7 percent (vs 5.0 percent).
On a quarterly basis, the economy rebounded 1.1 percent quarter-over-quarter in the three months to March 2018 after a 0.2 percent contraction in the previous quarter and slightly above market expectations of a 1.0 percent climb, advanced data showed. It was the second fastest growth rate in the last ten quarters.