Latvian GDP declined 1.3 % in first quarter of 2021

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Data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) and released May 31 show that in the 1st quarter of 2021, compared to the 1st quarter of 2020, gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 1.3 % (according to seasonally and calendar non-adjusted data).

In the 1st quarter GDP at constant prices was EUR 6.8 billion. 

Compared to the previous quarter, GDP fell even more, by 1.7 %.

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Many sectors continue to be hit by COVID-19 restrictions.

"The fall in volume of construction work was affected both by COVID-19 and unfavourable weather conditions (cold weather) for the development of the sector. Large part of construction enterprises had completed major projects, but the new ones were not started yet. In all three construction sub-sectors there was a drop under the impact of which total construction production volume fell by 12.4 %. The most significant drop was observed in construction of buildings – by 16.6 % and engineering construction – by 11.6 %. In turn, specialized construction work in the reference period were carried out less by 6.0 %," said the CSB.

Due to the increased trade restrictions at the end of December 2020, in the 1st quarter of 2021, compared to the 1st quarter of the previous year, retail trade decreased by 5.1 %, of which retail sale of food-products reduced by 0.2 %, but drop in retail sale of non-food products was larger – 8.1 % (of which retail sale of automotive fuel at petrol filling stations rose by 7.7 %). Rise in wholesale trade (growth of 6.4 %), compared to the respective period of the previous year, was observed in key sub-groups of the sector. An increase of 12.6 % was registered in wholesale trade, retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles.

As severe restrictions on movement and economic activity during the emergency situation continued, a decline of 50.6 % was observed in passenger traffic, in freight transport – of 1.7 %, but in storage and transport auxiliary services – of 1.0%. In turn, development of transport and storage sector was affected positively by postal and courier activities – increase of 34.9 %.

Restrictions imposed for reduction of COVID-19 pandemic continued to significantly affect volume of services provided by accommodation and catering sectors – fall of 53.3 %, of which in accommodation – of 61.8 %, in catering – of 50.7 %.


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