EC: Latvia's economy will grow 2.8% this year

Latvia's economy will grow 2.8% of GDP this year, according to the winter forecast by the European Commission. The economy will grow even stronger next year, whilst last year's indicators were weak for reasons including a fall in investments, reported Latvian Radio February 13.

According to the commission's Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, growth was sluggish last year at 1.6% as investments fell due to a temporary shortage of EU funds. However similar problems beleaguered most of the other new EU member states. 

It follows that the Latvian economy was supported by local demand and exports.

The country's GDP is projected to grow 3% next year due to the return of investments, further growth in demand and positive tendencies in Latvia's export markets.

Employment fell to 9.5% in Latvia last year, which is still high but lower than in the southern EU member states.

However the commission notes that Latvia has suffered due to outflow of people. It's projected that the lack of employees will further reduce the unemployment levels but force people at a retirement age to remain in work.

Latvia's GDP grew 2.7% in 2015 and 2.4% in 2014. Estimates put last year's growth at 1.6%.

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