Modest growth next year says Governor

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Latvian economic growth next year will be lower than the previous forecast of 2.8% and is more likely to around the 2% mark, Latvian Central Bank governor Ilmars Rimšēvičs said Monday.

Speaking on LTV's Rita Panorama news show, Rimšēvičs said that previous forecasts had not factored in recent developments such as the sharp fall in oil prices and the near-collapse of the Russian ruble.

However Rimšēvičs declined to give a precise number for the new forecast, saying: "The situation is changing all the time. There are so-called upside and downside risks. So this is a realistic scenario where the good news will likely be less than the bad."

The longtime bank boss said he also hoped that next year's budget, would not need to be adjusted. Currently, there is no need to talk about new austerity measures, but people need to be "very aware of the context in which we live today - both in the West and the East, economic growth is rapidly decreasing," he said.

Latvia could not afford an unbalanced budget, he insisted while repeating a call from a recent press conference for a wider debate on the nature of so-called "structural reforms."

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