Latvian GDP growth in 2018 was fastest for 7 years

Annual GDP growth in Latvia was confirmed at 4.8% in 2018 by the Central Statistics Bureau (CSB) on February 28 - a strong performance by European Union standards, slightly better than in 2017, the fastest growth in seven years and the fastest growth among the Baltic countries in 2018.

GDP at current prices constituted EUR 29.5 billion

Commenting on the data, Swedbank said: "Construction was a top performer among industries in value added growth. EU funds inflow and other public and private investment supported investment in dwellings, other buildings and civil engineering. Construction value added growth decelerated in the second half of 2018 and this trend will continue this year as labor shortages and capacity constraints become more acute as well as EU fund inflow grows in a slower manner. With slower construction growth investment growth will moderate as well.

"The second fastest growing industry was information and communication services, which also suffers from labor shortage. Thus, it will be increasingly hard to maintain double-digit growth rates exhibited currently. Strong growth in transport sector in 2018 will also be hard to maintain this year due to slowing global growth and Russia’s cargo transfer to its own ports. 

Baltic states GDP

"Meanwhile growth in the two biggest industries – trade and manufacturing – slowed already in 2018, thus we expect that similar growth rates as in 2018 will persist this year as well... Considering constraints and slowing global growth, we expect economic growth to slow closer to 3%. Uncertainty globally, however, is rather high, risks are plentiful, and growth can slow even more. For now, Latvian economy has endured well in times of global turbulence," said Swedbank.

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