(TAP)-The growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) in volume (adjusted for seasonal variations) posted a slight rise of 0.2% in the first quarter of 2024 (Q1 2024) compared with the same period in 2023, according to preliminary estimates of the quarterly national accounts released on Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).

In quarterly terms (i.e. compared with Q4 and Q4 2023), the GDP volume was up by 0.6%, compared with an increase of almost the same percentage in the previous quarter (0.5%).

With inflationary pressures easing, domestic demand is structurally the main driver of growth, making a positive contribution of 0.45 percentage points to economic growth in Q1 (0.2).

The foreign trade balance, on the other hand, cut into growth by 0.26 percentage points, as the volume of exports of goods and services rose by 2.2%, slightly less than that of imports (2.4%).

Economic growth was boosted by a recovery in activity in agriculture (+1.6%) and a sustained dynamic in service activities (+1.9%).

On the other hand, the industrial and construction sectors posted annual falls of 5% and 6.8%, respectively.

Service sector activities were the main engine of economic growth in Q1 2024.

The value added thus recorded a year-on-year rise of 1.9%, due notably to the buoyancy of the hotels, restaurants and cafés sector, which maintained a relatively upward annual growth rate of 6.6%, as well as the 1.5% rise in non-market service activities.

Economic activity was also boosted by the improvement in the agricultural sector, where value added grew by 1.6% year-on-year, contributing 0.1 percentage points to economic growth in Q1.

Conversely, real value added in the manufacturing sector fell by 3.5% year-on-year in Q1 2024.

Likewise, value added in the energy, mining, water, sanitation and waste treatment sector was down by 9.9% compared with the same period in 2023.

The data released by the INS also show negative year-on-year growth in the building and construction sector (-6.8%) in Q1 of the current year.

Overall, the industrial sector recorded a 5% year-on-year decline in value added in volume terms in Q1, according to the INS.

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