Household consumption growth slowed to 0.1 percent from 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2018; and fixed investment rose 2.7 percent, easing from 3.8 percent expansion in the prior quarter. Also, government spending went up 0.5 percent, the same as in the fourth quarter of 2018. In addition, net external demand contributed negatively to the GDP growth as imports rose 1.7 percent (vs -1.0 percent in Q4) and exports increased at a softer 0.5 percent (1.3 percent in Q4).
Year-on-year, the economy expanded 1.7 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, slowing from a 2.2 percent growth in the previous period, and in line with the preliminary estimates. It was the weakest growth rate since the last quarter of 2015, as private consumption eased to 0.7 percent from 2.1 in the fourth quarter of 2018. Also, net foreign demand contributed negatively to the GDP growth, as imports rose 2.2 percent (vs 1.4 percent in Q4) and exports rose at a slower 1.3 percent (vs 2.5 percent in Q4). Meanwhile, government spending expanded 1.3 percent, faster than a 1.0 percent gain in the prior period and fixed investment went up 5.0 percent (vs 2.5 percent in Q4).