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In the first quarter of 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 2.3% over the first quarter of 2019. Seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 3.4% compared to the first quarter of 2019 and by 4.5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
In the first quarter of 2020 the decrease was observed in domestic consumption as well as external demand. Domestic consumption had a greater impact on GDP decrease.
In the first quarter of 2020 domestic expenditure declined by 3.1% due to both components of domestic expenditure: final consumption expenditure and gross capital formation. Final consumption expenditure declined by 3.1% and gross capital formation by 3.3%. Within final consumption expenditure only final consumption expenditure of government increased; by 5.8%.
Household final consumption expenditure and gross fixed capital formation are the most important components of final domestic expenditure. Household final consumption expenditure decreased by 6.4% and gross fixed capital formation by 6.3%. The majority of gross fixed capital formation decreased, except construction investment and investment in intellectual property products. Construction investment increased by 3.8% and investment in intellectual property products increased by 1.7% compared to the first quarter of 2019.
Changes in inventories also increased, they contributed 0.5 of a percentage point to GDP growth (the decline of GDP was less prominent due to changes in inventories).
Lower external demand
In the first quarter of 2020 we observed lower external demand (the first time in the last ten years – with the exception of second quarter of 2012 when decreased by 0.1%). Exports decreased by 1.6% and imports by 2.5% compared to the first quarter of 2019. Because exports declined less than imports, the external trade balance had a positive contribution to GDP growth; it contributed 0.5 of a percentage point.
Employment in the first quarter of 2020 continued to grow
Total employment in the first quarter of 2020 amounted to 1,041.617; it increased by 1.0% or 9,890 persons. Newly employed persons were observed in construction and in human health and social work activities. In some branches employment decreased, the most in agriculture, in administrative and support service activities, and in manufacturing.
Unless otherwise specified, all comparisons in this text refer to original data, to volume or real changes and to changes compared with the same quarter of the previous year.
The compilation of macroeconomic aggregates like GDP is based on numerous statistical and administrative data sources. Due to the coronavirus epidemic we are faced with lower quality and less reliable data sources as usual. Hence, the macroeconomic aggregates estimates might be subject to larger further revisions.
More detailed data
More detailed data including time series are available in the SiStat Database.
Gross domestic product, constant prices, growth rates (%)
Gross domestic product by expenditures, constant prices, growth rates (%)
1) As contribution to GDP volume growth (in percentage points).
Value added by activities and gross domestic product, constant prices, growth rates (%)