The economy posted its twelfth consecutive quarter of growth, despite being the weakest in over a year. Household consumption rose at a slower pace (0.1 percent from 0.5 percent in Q4 2016) while fixed investment rebounded (4.6 percent from -1.7 percent in Q4). Also, changes in inventories added 0.2 percentage points to growth (0.3 p.p. in Q4). By contrast, government spending contracted 0.3 percent, after increasing by 0.4 percent in Q4, and net external demand contributed negatively, as imports jumped 2 percent (0.6 percent in Q4) while exports went up at a slower 1.4 percent (1.1 percent in Q4).
Year-on-year, the gross domestic product grew 3.2 percent, slower than a flash estimate of 3.4 percent and following a downwardly revised 2.4 percent expansion in the previous period. It was the highest annual growth rate since the first quarter of 2008, mainly boosted by a 8.3 percent jump in business investment (-1.5 percent in Q4), namely in software, machinery and telecommunication equipment. Meanwhile, private consumption rose at a slower 1.7 percent (2.3 percent in Q4) and government spending went up 1.1 percent (1.6 percent in Q4). Also, net external demand contributed positively, as exports rose 5.5 percent (2.6 percent in Q4) while imports increased at a slower 5.3 percent (0.9 percent in Q4). By contrast, government investment shrank 1.9 percent (1.2 percent in Q4).