Slovak GDP growth dropped to its lowest of the year in the fourth quarter of 2016 as it slowed to 3.1 % y/y, Slovak Statistics reported in a flash estimate on February 14.
The result leaves full-year economic expansion on target at 3.3%. While the statistics office is yet to offer any breakdown on the structure of economic growth last year, it is highly likely that the trends that dominated through the rest of 2016 persisted in the final three months.
Throughout the year, net exports and private consumption have offered momentum. Investment, while not as lacklustre as in Visegrad peers thanks to relatively strong private investment – especially in the auto sector - has had a negative effect throughout.
That said, while a galloping improvement on the labour market has buoyed household consumption, retail sales remained tepid through much of 2016. Meanwhile, although export performance has been decent, the contribution of net exports to headline GDP growth is largely thanks to the fact that limited investment has kept a cap on imports. Industrial production remained modest through 2016.
Seasonally adjusted, the data was even weaker, with Q4 growth at 2.9%. In quarterly terms GDP grew 0.8%, a gain of 0.1pp over the result in July-September. A full report on fourth quarter GDP will be issued on March 7.
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