Latvia shows strongest economic growth in six years

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-31 05:25:56|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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RIGA, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Latvian economy has been growing at the fastest rate since 2011, the Baltic country's Finance Ministry said on Monday while commenting Latvia's latest GDP growth figures.

A flash estimate released by the national statistics office shows that during the third quarter of this year the Latvian economy expanded by 5.8 percent against the same period in 2016, which was the steepest annual growth rate since the first quarter of 2012 and a significant acceleration against the first half of the year when the Latvian GDP increased by 4 percent year-on-year.

The Finance Ministry cited both favorable external factors and a fast inflow of investment in the construction sector as the main drivers of growth this year.

In recent months, the Latvian manufacturing sector has been showing the strongest rise in five years, growing 8 percent in the third quarter of this year and more than 12 percent year-on-year in August.

Construction has also been playing an increasingly important role this year, as the sector's annual growth accelerated from 8.4 percent in the first quarter to nearly 16 percent in the second quarter of the year and 23 percent in the third quarter of 2018.

With continued wage growth boosting Latvian consumers' purchasing power, retail sales quickened in the third quarter of 2018 as compared to the first half of the year, the Finance Ministry noted.

Meanwhile, the Latvian Economics Ministry said on Monday that it expects the economy to grow by 4.5 percent this year amid favorable external factors like robust growth in other EU member states and availability of EU funds.