Latvian GDP "bounced back" in third quarter, but future is "less bright"

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Latvia posted gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the third quarter October 29 that were better than generally expected.

According to the flash estimate of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) in the 3rd quarter of 2020, compared to the 3rd quarter of 2019, GDP decreased by 3.1 %, according to seasonally and calendar non-adjusted data.

However, compared to the 2nd quarter of 2020 -- which included much of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic -- GDP increased by 6.6 % (according to seasonally and calendar adjusted data).

It should be noted that the figure is subject to revision and details on adjusted GDP and changes in the 3rd quarter of 2020 will be published on 30 November.

Nevertheless, Swedbank described the figures as a "strong bounce-back" while warning that "GDP in Q3 was better than expected, but the future is unfortunately looking less bright than a couple of months ago."

"GDP was supported by great performance in retail trade. Better than expected results were recorded also in manufacturing and goods exports, while services exports have shown virtually no improvement since spring. The success story of virus management seems to be largely over, and the reality of a steep rise in confirmed cases, increasing hospital admissions and deaths is kicking in," Swedbank said. 

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