Latvia's economy grew annual 5.8% in Q3 - flash estimate

Compared to the corresponding period last year, the 3rd quarter of 2017 saw Latvia's GDP grow by 6.2% according to seasonally and calendar adjusted data and by 5.8% according to non-adjusted data by Latvia's statistics office. 

While compared to the 2nd quarter, in the 3rd quarter of 2017, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) according to both seasonally and calendar adjusted data grew by 1.5%.

During the 3rd quarter, GDP was affected by the increase of 8% in industrial output, rise of 23% in construction, and growth of 4% in services, of which by 5% in retail trade. Compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, the taxes on products collected went up by 4%.

Changes in GDP volume at constant prices, Q3 2015Q3 2017 (%)

More precise data over Latvia's GDP statistics are to be released November 30.

Responding to the data, Swedbank analyst Martins Kazaks said: ''Overall, general trends are as we had expected, but the growth numbers are stronger than forecasted. The rate of annual real GDP growth of 5.8% is perhaps the cyclical peak, but the flow of very strong numbers is expected to continue in the following quarters. In terms of levels, domestic demand is still quite subdued following overdone cautiousness of the past few years, while export demand is strong in view of a cyclical pickup in global economy.

''This means that the basis for further growth is broad. We shall revise 2017 GDP growth forecast to about 5% from the current 4.2% with about 4% or above growth continuing into 2018. Yet, as Warren Buffett once said: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked.” This is a good time for companies and the government to fix structural issues to ensure that the business cycle upswing lasts longer. Especially, in regards to wage growth exceeding that of improvements in average labor productivity.''

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