Fixed investment jumped 10.4 percent in the first quarter, recovering from a 0.3 percent fall in the previous three-month period, due to higher spending on other machinery and equipment including weapon systems (14.5 percent vs -3 percent) and construction (9.7 percent from 2 percent). By contrast, decreases were seen in intellectual property products investment (-0.6 percent vs 2.6 percent) and transport equipment (-0.7 percent from -2.6 percent).
Also, household expenditure increased 0.3 percent (vs 1.3 percent), as consumption slowed for non-durable goods and services (0.8 percent vs 1.4 percent) and food and beverages (0.1 percent vs 0.7 percent) while it drop for durable goods (-2.1 percent vs 1.8 percent); and government spending went up 0.1 percent, unchanged from the previous period.
Meanwhile, net external demand also contributed negatively to the GDP as imports surged 6.0 percent (vs 2.3 percent in Q4) and exports increased at a slower 2.9 percent (vs 1.6 percent in Q4).
Year-on-year, the economy grew 1.8 percent in the first quarter, also unrevised from the preliminary estimate and above the 1.7 percent expansion recorded in the prior period. Domestic demand was the main driver of growth while net exports contributed negatively to the GDP.