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Latvian GDP rose 0.3% in final quarter of 2017

According to the flash estimate, GDP rose by 0.3 % in the 4th quarter

In the 4th quarter of 2017, compared to the 3rd quarter of 2017, the Latvia's gross domestic product value (seasonally and calendar adjusted data) increased by 0.3 % according to a flash estimate released January 30 by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB).

Compared to the corresponding period of 2016, during the 4th quarter of 2017 seasonally and calendar adjusted GDP grew by 4.8 %, while non-adjusted GDP increased by 4.2 %.

According to seasonally and calendar non-adjusted data, in the 4th quarter the GDP was affected by the increase of 5 % in industrial output, a rise of 21 % in construction, and growth of 4 % in services, of which by 5 % in retail trade. Compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, the taxes on products collected went up by 3 %, the CSB said.

More detailed figures on changes in GDP over 2017 will be published on 28 February, but as it stands Latvia recorded annual GDP growth of well over 4% throughout 2017, one of the strongest performances in the European Union.

Responding to the data the Finance Ministry pointed out that if the figures are confirmed, Latvia would have had annual growth of 4.5% over 2017 as a whole, which is the fastest GDP growth rate since 2011, when the Latvian economy grew by 6.4%.

In contrast Swedbank said that real GDP growth was likely past its peak: "Real GDP growth slowed to 4.2% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2017. Nevertheless, it was the second fastest rate of growth over the past five years. The strong figure, however, was largely due to base effects, as the quarter-on-quarter growth was just 0.3% (seasonally and calendar adjusted). The business cycle has started maturing, and the growth is already past its top speed. The growth will continue gradually slowing, going forward."

In another data set released Tuesday it was revealed that compared to 2016, in 2017 total retail trade turnover rose by 4.2 %. Turnover of retail trade in food products increased by 3.9 %, turnover of retail trade in non-food products, except for retail sale of automotive fuel, grew by 5.1%, whereas turnover of retail sale of automotive fuel – by 2.9 %.

Compared to December 2016, in December 2017 retail trade turnover grew by 6.4 % (according to calendar adjusted data at constant prices).


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