Latvia: Economy picks up speed in second quarter
August 9, 2011
In the second quarter, GDP increased 5.3% over the same period last year, according to a preliminary flash estimate released on 9 August by the National Statistics Office. The second quarter outturn represented the fourth consecutive quarter of an expanding economy, following nine consecutive periods of contracting economic activity. Moreover, the second quarter reading marked a notable acceleration in the pace of expansion compared to the 3.5% increase tallied in the first quarter and overshot market expectations that had seen GDP growth accelerating to 4.7%. A quarter-on-quarter comparison saw the economy expanding a strong 2.2% in seasonally adjusted terms, which was well above the 0.3% increase observed in the first quarter. Revised and more complete data will be published on 8 September. Additional economic information suggests that the industrial sector was a key growth engine. Based on monthly industrial production data, the industrial sector expanded 13.0% year-on-year in the second quarter, which was above the 9.1% increase registered in the first quarter. Meanwhile, in its July macroeconomic report, the Central Bank maintained its growth projections unaltered and anticipates the economy to expand 3.3%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist