Latvia’s GDP growth in Q3 posts at high 4.8%

The latest flash estimate of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) shows that, compared to the 3rd quarter of 2017, in the 3rd quarter of 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) value increased by 4.8 % (according to seasonally and calendar non-adjusted data). Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2018, GDP rose by 1.8 % (seasonally and calendar adjusted data). The main contributor to the growth in GDP was the output increase in construction (of 10 %), retail trade (2 %) and industry (1 %), the CSB said.

Meanwhile, overall European Union economy has been growing significantly slower. In comparison to Latvia’s GDP of 4.8% in third quarter, the GDP of the European Union posted at 1.7%. In comparison to the same time period last year, the GDP of European Union is 1.7%. EU economy expanded by 1.9% in comparison to the overall numbers for this year, while there was 2.1% increase in comparison to the second quarter. In comparison to the second quarter, the GDP in the Eurozone grew by 0.2%, and in the EU – by 0.3%.

Earlier in the previous month, the Scandinavian banking group SEB in its latest Nordic Outlook raised the forecasts for gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Latvia in 2018 and 2019. SEB now expects a 4.1% GDP increase in Latvia in 2018 whereas the previous forecast was 3.7% and has raised its estimate of GDP growth in 2019 from 3.5% to 3.7%.

SEB forecasts for the other two Baltic states are not as high as that for Latvia. The GDP growth in Lithuania is expected to show at 3.2% in 2018 and at 3% in 2019 while the average annual inflation is estimated at 2.8% in 2018 and at 2.5% in 2019. At the same time, the GDP growth forecast for Estonia was raised from 3.3% to 3.5% in 2018 while the forecast for economic growth in 2019 has not changed and still is 3%.