Latvia's GDP up 2.8% in first quarter - flash estimate

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According to a flash estimate of the Central Statistical Bureau, Latvia's gross domestic product increased 2.8% in the first quarter as compared to the first quarter of 2018.

That is according to seasonally and calendar non-adjusted data.

Output increase in construction (6%) and services (3%) both added to the GDP value. Output in industry remained unchanged, despite the significant reduction in production of electricity, gas and heat supply.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, Latvia's GDP fell by 0.3% according to seasonally and calendar adjusted data.

The statistics office is to publish the precise value of and changes in the GDP in the first quarter of 2019 on May 31.

Commenting on the data Swedbank said: "The overall economic sentiment has slightly worsened in the recent months but it still remains above long-term average, pointing towards continuation of economic expansion. Nevertheless, the growth is moderating given the pronounced labour shortages and cost pressures, high capacity utilization level in manufacturing and faltering external demand. The GDP growth this year is expected to be around 3.3%."

"The slowdown in the GDP growth in the first quarter was most likely defined by much weaker investment growth, especially in construction. Value added in construction increased only by 6% at the beginning of 2019 compared to 22% overall last year. Part of the slowdown is explained by the levelling off of the European Union structural fund investments," Swedbank said.

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