The Brazilian economy grew 1.1 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2018, easing from 1.3 percent in the previous three-month period and missing market expectations of 1.3 percent.
From the expenditure side, household expenditure grew 1.5 percent (vs 1.4 percent in Q3) and fixed investment rose 3 percent (vs 7.8 percent in Q3). Also, net external demand contributed positively to GDP growth, as exports jumped 12 percent (vs 2.6 percent in Q3) and imports increased at a slower 6 percent percent (vs 13.5 percent in Q3). On the other hand, government spending fell 0.7 percent, after a 0.3 percent advance in the third quarter.
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From the production side, the service industries grew 1.1 percent following a 1.2 percent expansion in Q3, as output rose for: trade (0.9 percent vs 1.6 percent); transport and storage (1.7 percent vs 2.9 percent); information and communication (2.5 percent vs 1.1 percent); real estate activities (3.4 percent vs 3.2 percent); public health, education and social security (0.1 percent, the same as in Q3); and other service activities (1.5 percent vs 0.6 percent). By contrast, financial, insurance and related services activities shrank 0.5 percent, compared to 1 percent growth in Q3. In addition, agriculture output advanced 2.4 percent, little-change from the third-quarter 2.5 percent expansion; while industrial output contracted 0.5 percent, reversing a 0.8 percent rise in Q3. Within industry, declines were seen in manufacturing (-1.5 percent vs 1.6 percent) and construction (-2.2 percent vs -1 percent), while growth accelerated for both mining (3.9 percent vs 0.7 percent) and utilities (4.6 percent vs 0.5 percent).
Considering 2018 as a whole, the GDP rose 1.1 percent, the same pace as in 2017. Fixed investment rose for the first time in five years (4.1 percent vs -2.5 percent in 2017) and household consumption growth picked up to 1.9 percent from 1.4 percent. Meanwhile, government spending was unchanged (vs -0.9 percent in 2017) and net external demand contributed negatively to the GDP as imports jumped 8.5 percent (vs 5 percent in 2017) and exports increased at a slower 4.1 percent (vs 5.2 percent in 2017).