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Latvia’s gross domestic product grew 4.5% in 2017

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In 2017, as compared to 2016, the economic growth continued and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 4.5 %. In 2017, GDP at current prices amounted to EUR 26.9 billion.

In Q4 2017, as compared to Q3, GDP at constant prices grew by 0.3 %, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

In 2017 compared to 2016, significant increase in manufacturing amount was in mining and quarrying – by 18 %, of which in peat extraction – by 13 % and in quarrying – by 33 %.

The manufacturing sector grew by 8 %. Manufacture of food products rose by 4 %, but manufacture of wood and of products of wood grew by 2 % and manufacture of fabricated metal products – by 14 %. Increase was also observed in other sectors: manufacture of chemicals and chemical products and manufacture of electrical machinery – by 21 %, manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products – by 14 % and manufacture of non-metallic mineral products – by 11 %.

In electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply manufacturing volume increased by 7 %, of which in production and distribution of electricity – by 12 % and in steam and air conditioning supply – by 1 %.

Construction production volume rose by 19 %. An increase of 20 % could be observed in the construction of non-residential buildings, and a rise of 30 % was recorded in the construction of civil engineering structures. Construction of residential buildings reduced by 10 %.

Retail trade increased by 4 %, of which trade in food and non-food products – by 4 %, but wholesale trade, retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles rose by 16 %.

In transport and storage sector growth of 7 % was promoted by increase in passenger traffic by 8 %, increase in warehousing and support activities for transportation by 10 %, rise in postal and courier activities by 14 %, growth of freight transport by 2 %.

Services of information and communication services grew by 6 %, including growth of 10 % in computer programming and consulting, information services – of 11 %, but telecommunication services remained at the level of the previous year.

Financial and insurance activities indicated a drop of 17 %, which was because of the decline in commissions from monetary financial institutions, in profits, investment and interest rates of financial instruments trading, while the total expenses of the sector and prices for the services provided increased.

Real estate activities remained at the level of the previous year.

Professional, scientific and technical activities rose by 8 %, of which legal and accounting activities by 13 %, architectural, engineering, technical testing and analysis services – by 15 %, whereas other professional, scientific and technical activities dropped by 7 %.

Significant increase was observed in arts, entertainment and recreation – of 8 %, which was affected by 11 % rise in gambling and betting activities, by 10 % in sports activities and amusement and recreation activities, as well as by 7 % in creative, arts and entertainment activities.

In 2017 the volume of taxes on products (value added tax, excise and customs taxes) increased by 3 %.

Compared to the previous year, in 2017 total household expenditure rose by 5 %. Expenditure on transport (public transport, purchase and exploitation of transport vehicles) rose by 7 %, and expenditure on recreation and culture went up by 13 %. Household expenditure on food and housing, which comprise 38 % of total household expenditure as two largest expenditure groups, remained at the level of the previous year.

Government final consumption expenditure grew by 4 %.

Investment in the gross fixed capital formation grew by 16 %, of which by 16 % in dwellings and other buildings and structures and by 14 % in machinery and equipment, of which in vehicles. Investment in intellectual property products (research, computer software, databases, copyrights, etc.) increased by 25 %.

In 2017, exports of goods and services rose by 4 %, of which exports of goods by 5 % and exports of services by 3 %. Exports mainly consisted of wood and products of wood and cork (except furniture), electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof.

Imports of goods and services, in its turn, went up by 9 %, of which imports of goods by 10 % and imports of services by 6 %.

Imports mainly involved machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical equipment and parts thereof. Transportation and tourism services were significant both in services exports and imports.

Compared to 2016, in 2017 compensation of employees at current prices grew by 8 %. Gross operating surplus and mixed income increased by 8 %, whereas the balance of taxes on production and imports and subsidies went up by 7 %.


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