GDP grew by 3.3% y/y last year, the Statistics Committee reported today. This is slightly up from the 3.2% growth estimate by the EconMin in February. Growth accelerated from 2.5% in 2017 and from 2.4% in 2016. This year, growth is expected to slow somewhat.
Agriculture, up 7.8%, was the main growth engine last year. Trade also contributed to GDP growth acceleration, increasing by 3.7%, as did construction, up 7.2%. On the downside, growth in the manufacturing industry was feeble at 0.6%, and the extractive sector was up only 1.9%.
In Q4’18 alone, growth accelerated to 3.5% y/y from 2.8% in Q3. The breakdown for Q4 shows that all the main sectors grew with the conspicuous exception of the manufacturing industry, which was down 2.8% y/y. Output there declined for the first time since 2015, partly on base effects. By contrast, agricultural production growth accelerated to 13.5% y/y in Q4 from 3.0% in Q3, on the back of a record grain harvest. Growth in trade slowed to 1.6% from 5.9%, although retail trade in particular continued to grow fast thanks to growing real wages. Growth was flat at 2.6% y/y in the extractive industry, and growth in construction slowed somewhat to 7.6% y/y.
The breakdown on the expenditure side shows that household consumption growth slowed to 8.5% y/y in Q4 from 11.5% in Q3. By contrast, gross capital formation growth picked up to 10.2% from 9.1%. Exports were down 4.9%, but imports were up 4.6%.