GDP growth accelerates

According to the preliminary data, GDP expanded by 5 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, which means that the decelerating trend is temporarily halted. The seasonally and working day adjusted growth rate was 4.8 percent, the highest among the EU member states that have already published preliminary growth numbers. The quarter-on-quarter growth rate was 1.1 percent.

While the components of GDP growth are not yet known, the unexpectedly strong rebound of industrial growth in the third quarter was probably instrumental in the reacceleration of GDP growth on the production side. As for the expenditure side, the external merchandise trade statistics suggests a surprising improvement in net export: amid an acceleration of both export and import growth, the negative gap between export and import growth may have more or less closed again in the third quarter.

Due to the favorable third-quarter numbers, GDP grew by a cumulative 5.1 percent during the first three quarters of 2019. In the fourth quarter a slowdown in industrial growth and the continuation of the deceleration of construction growth is expected – as a result, we still expect that annual average GDP growth will remain somewhat below 5 percent in 2019.