Latvia's strong growth continued at end of 2018

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A flash estimate from the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) released January 30 showed that, compared to the 4th quarter of 2017, in the 4th quarter of 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) value increased by a healthy 5.0 % (according to seasonally and calendar non-adjusted data).

Upward pressure on the GDP value was exerted by the output increase in construction (of 24 %), industry (2 %) and services (4 %).

Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2018, GDP rose by 1.1 % (according to seasonally and calendar adjusted data).

More detailed press release on the GDP value and changes in the 4th quarter of 2018 will be published on 28 February, but Finance Minister Jānis Reirs commented:

"With the rapid growth achieved in the fourth quarter, the Latvian economy in general increased by 4.8% in 2018, the fastest growth rate since 2011, also exceeding the result achieved in 2017. Overall, 2018 has been a very successful year for the Latvian economy, even despite problems in certain sectors. However, the outlook for 2019 should be treated with great caution, taking into account the slowdown in economic growth in the world, especially in the euro area, which weakens Latvia's export potential."

Further data showed that, compared to 2017, in 2018 total retail trade turnover rose by 4 %. Turnover of retail trade in food products increased by 4.2 %, turnover of retail trade in non-food products (except for retail sale of automotive fuel) by 4.2%, and turnover of retail sale of automotive fuel by 2.9 %.

Compared to December 2017, in December 2018 retail trade turnover grew by 2.2 % (according to calendar adjusted data at constant prices).

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