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Central Bank Quarterly Bulletin (4) 2013

While national accounts data indicate that growth in the first half of the year was weaker than expected, the forecast is for a continuation of the gradual recovery in the overall level of economic activity, though at a slightly slower pace than previously expected.

After a weak start to the year, the second quarter saw some rebound in economic growth, helped by a recovery in consumer spending and exports, both of which contracted in the first three months of the year.

Looking through the fluctuations in the quarterly data, the weakness in the early part of the year is likely to dampen the average annual growth rate for 2013.

However, since the first quarter, the pick-up in both domestic and external demand points to some improvement in momentum, which should support a gradual recovery in growth over the second half of this year and into 2014.

Taking all of these considerations into account, the Bank’s latest forecasts for GDP growth for 2013 and 2014 are marginally lower than those published in the last Bulletin. GDP growth of 0.5 per cent is now projected for this year, with growth of 2.0 per cent forecast for 2014, representing a downward revision of 0.2 and 0.1 per cent, respectively, to the previous forecasts for 2013 and 2014.

The forecast for GNP has also been revised down in a similar fashion and is now projected to grow by 0.1 per cent this year, and by 1.2 per cent next year.

Read the full Central Bank Quarterly (4) Bulletin here.

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