Gross Fixed Investment (GFI) grew 7.9% yoy in January (from 9.4% in December), below our forecast and market consensus (as per Bloomberg) – both at 8.3%. Adjusting the figures for working days, GFI grew at a slower pace of 7.2%, taking the quarterly annual rate to 8.1% (from 8.0% in 4Q22). According to the calendar-adjusted breakdown, quarterly annual growth in construction investment stood at 2.8% in January (from 3.0% in 4Q22), while machinery & equipment investment stood at a strong 15.2% (from 14.0%).
GFI fell by 0.5% mom/sa in January (after growing at a strong 2.5% in December), keeping a positive momentum. The quarter-over-quarter annualized growth rate (qoq/saar) stood at 12.5% in January (from 12.9% in 4Q22). Looking at the breakdown, construction investment qoq/saar stood at a solid 18.6% in January (from 17.0% in 4Q22) driven mainly by non-residential construction investment, while machinery & equipment investment came in at 6.4% (from 6.9%).
Private consumption momentum improved in January. The monthly proxy for private consumption expanded by 6.2% yoy in January (using calendar-adjusted figures), with the quarterly annual growth rate at 4.7% in January (from 4.5% in 4Q22). At the margin, private consumption expanded 1.6% mom/sa in January (from 1.6% in December), taking the qoq/saar figure to 3.0% in January (from 1.7% in 4Q22).
Our GDP growth forecast for this year stands at 1.8%. In our view, the economy will cool down in the last three quarters of this year, slowed by a softer U.S. economy, after still-decent GDP growth in 1Q23.