GDP growth was confirmed at 2.4% y/ yin Q3 2018, according to the third release of national accounts data by the statistical office. There was a slight upward revision of Q3 2017 data, when GDP growth was upgraded by 0.1pps to 5.2% y/y, but there were hardly any changes in headline figures. GDP growth was also confirmed at 0.6% q/q (sa) in Q3 2018, but Q2 growth was slightly downgraded, by 0.1pps to 0.6% q/q.
Revisions were slight, with a slight downgrade observed with final consumption growth (by 0.1pps to 3.7% y/y), mostly due to government spending. Gross fixed capital formation growth was downgraded to a greater extent, down to 9.0% y/y in Q3 (lower by 0.3pps), but it was still better than in Q2. Meanwhile, the contribution of inventories remained negative, but it was revised to slightly less so, which mitigated the impact of lower investment and government spending contribution. There was no major adjustment in the contribution of net exports, which remains the primary factor behind lower GDP growth, with its contribution being the most negative in 13 quarters.
As far as resources are concerned, there was a slight downward revision in gross value added growth, down 0.1pps to 2.3% y/y in Q3, with most sectors seeing slightly lower growth than initially estimated. The only exception was information and communications, where growth was upgraded slightly, as well as various business services, where no change was reported. Overall, changes are slight and do not reflect the general outlook from GDP growth figures in Q3.
The far more interesting data will be released at the end of the month, when the GDP flash estimate for Q4 2018 and the entire 2018 should be released. Preliminary data imply that activity may have recovered somewhat, but they still suggest that growth may be lower than the official forecast of 3.1%. If GDP growth deviates visibly from forecasts, it will be an incentive for the CNB to delay its monetary tightening push and keep rates on hold in February.