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2Q13 GDP contracted 0.3%QoQ after being upwardly revised -0.5% a quarter ago (-0.7% initially). As a result, GDP eased its contraction in YoY (swda) terms to -2.2% YoY in 2Q13 from -3.2% a quarter ago. This outcome is mixed compared to our expectations of 0.2% QoQ and -2.5%YY contraction in 2Q13, which, however, reflects some revisions to quarterly dynamics in previous quarters (whole time series will be published on 2 September), which resulted in a larger contraction of GDP in 2012 by 2.5% YoY (-2.2% initially) after milder growth in 2011 by 0.7% (1% initially).
Regarding the structure of growth (only nsa data are available for the time being), the easing in YoY contraction of GDP (compared to 1Q13) reflects a milder fall in private consumption (-2%YoY vs. -5% a quarter ago) and a much milder negative contribution of a drop in inventories (-0.9% pts vs. -3.3% a quarter ago). Fixed investments eased their contraction only slightly (to -3% YoY), while government consumption dropped more (by 3.1%). The contribution of net export was milder, but remained solid due to the acceleration of export, which however only partly offset a stronger acceleration of import. This is in line with the milder contraction of industrial production and construction output in 2Q13.
Recent sentiment indicators have remained supportive for better export activity. The evaluation of order-books suggests the recovery of export growth to 5%-7% YY in the short term from 2.1% in 2Q13. This is supportive for our forecast of mild recovery in industrial production to 0.2% YY growth in 3Q13 after -1% a quarter ago. Improved construction confidence, which is at its long-term average, suggests that an abrupt easing in contraction in construction output to -2.6% YY in June from an average -20% in the previous five months and -17% in 2012 was not a one-shot. The contradictory data came from the tertiary sector as consumer confidence improved in all segments, however, plans for major purchases and a drop in retail confidence probably do not suggest any further stronger gains in retail sales or private consumption. Moreover, stable (still low) utilisation of production capacities do not suggest any further stronger easing in contraction in fixed investments.
For the time being, we think that this outcome remains consistent with our forecast of 2.2% YoY fall in GDP this year after -2.5% last year, followed by 0.3% contraction in 2014. We expect GDP to fall in average by 0.2% QoQ in 2H13 with ongoing headwind from fiscal policy. Though external demand prospects are improving, we think that the announcement of complex banking stress test results by the end of 2013 is likely to keep uncertainties high, with negative consequences for domestic demand.
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