Household consumption expenditure and that of non-profit organizations increased by 0.1 percent. In particular, consumption expenditures linked to housing and transport services delivered negative contributions. General government and social security consumption expenditure was lower in the 1st quarter 2014, down by 0.8 percent compared with the previous quarter.
Gross fixed investments rose by 0.5 percent. After a lengthy period of subdued development, investments in equipment contracted again (-1.5 percent), driven by weak investment across many sectors, with the exception of the “data processing equipment, electronic and optical product manufacturing” and “IT services” sectors, where an increase was registered. By contrast, investments in construction which benefitted from the mild winter, made a strong, positive contribution to growth (as they did in the previous two quarters), posting a rise of 2.7 percent.
Exports of goods (excluding precious metals, jewelry and gems as well as works of art and antiques) increased by 2.0 percent. This increase was driven in particular by exports of chemical/pharmaceutical products and vehicles. The remaining categories, such as machinery/electronics and precision instruments/watches/jewellery amongst others, reported a slight decrease. Exports of services (includes tourism) reported an increase (1.3 percent). Imports of goods (excluding precious metals, jewellery and gems as well as works of art and antiques) fell 0.8 percent.
On the production side the manufacturing industry, the wholesale sector and financial services delivered the strongest, positive contributions to GDP growth in the first quarter of 2014. By contrast, the sectors “energy and water supply”, “Accommodation and food service activities”, “Real estate activities, professional, scientific and technical activities” as well as “public administration” all posted a reduction in their value added.
Year-on-year, the economy advanced at a faster 2 percent, after growing 1.7 percent in the previous quarter.