In the first quarter, household consumption expenditure grew by 0.5 percent, accelerating from a 0.3 percent growth in the preceding period. The largest contributions to the expansion mainly came from the areas of housing/energy and health.
Investments in equipment rose by 0.5 percent, slowing from a 1.0 percent growth in the previous quarter, mainly due to an increase in IT investments and vehicles while investments in machinery declined. Investment in construction spending increased by 0.3 percent, following a 1.4 percent fall in the December quarter.
Exports of goods (excluding non-monetary gold and valuables) declined by 2.3 percent, following a 1.0 percent fall in the fourth quarter. All sectors reported a decline with chemicals/pharmaceuticals dropping the most, followed by jewelry, machinery, appliances, electronics and precision instruments and watches.
Imports of goods (excluding non-monetary gold and valuables) increased by 0.4 percent, reversing from a 1.8 percent decline in the preceding quarter, mainly due to higher purchases of vehicles. Imports also increased slightly for chemical and pharmaceutical products.
Year-on-year, the economy grew 1.1 percent, slowing from a 1.9 percent expansion in the December quarter.