IMF predicts Latvia to have fastest economic growth among Baltic states

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Latvia is expecting the fastest economic growth from the Baltic States this year, according to the World Economic spring forecasts published Tuesday by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), LETA reported April 6.

In the latest World Economic Outlook report, the IMF forecasts that Latvian economy will grow by 3.9% this year, less than the 5.2% growth estimated in previous forecasts in October. Next year, IMF forecasts Latvia's GDP growth of 5.2%, highest in the Baltic States.

The IMF estimates consumer prices will rise by 2.1% this year in Latvia, while inflation will be 2.2% next year.

According to IMF projections, unemployment will reach 7.2% in Latvia at the end of this year, but will fall to 6.7% next year.

The IMF also forecasts that the current account will have a surplus of 0.5% of GDP in Latvia this year, while a surplus of 0.2% of GDP is forecast next year.

For the Baltic States, the second fastest GDP growth this year is forecast for Estonia, with growth projected at 3.4%, while  in the Estonian economy the IMF expects 4.2% growth next year. In October, the IMF estimated GDP would grow by 4.5% this year in Estonia.

Estonia's inflation is projected at 1.8% this year and at 2.5% next year.

Estonia's current payments account projects a surplus of 0.4% of GDP this year, while next year a deficit of 0.5% of GDP is expected. The IMF expects an increase in the unemployment rate in Estonia to 7.1% at the end of this year and estimates it will fall to 6.5% next year.

In Lithuania, the IMF forecasts an economic rise of 3.2% this year and next year. In October, the IMF forecast economic growth of 4.1% this year. Inflation at the IMF in Lithuania this year and next year is expected at 1.5% and 1.9%, respectively.

Lithuania is forecast a surplus of 6.2% of GDP this year, while next year the surplus is estimated at 4.8% of GDP.

On the other hand, unemployment in Lithuania, according to the IMF estimates, will reach 8.4% at the end of the year, but will fall to 7.6% next year.

For the eurozone, the IMF forecasts a 4.4% GDP rise this year, while economic growth of 3.8% is estimated next year.

The euro area's inflation is forecast by the IMF this year at 1.4% and next year at 1.2%. The current account forecasts a surplus of 2.8% of GDP and a surplus of 2.7% next year. Meanwhile, unemployment in the euro area is projected to be 8.7% this year, but will fall to 8.5% next year, the IMF's spring forecasts say.

For the global economy, the IMF is projecting 6% growth this year, with a rise of 4.4% next year.

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