Latvia's calendar-adjusted industrial production growth picked up speed to 5.5% y/y in December, the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) reported on February 5.
The gain marks the sixteenth positive monthly reading in a row, with the pace of annual expansion growing after fading for two consecutive months in October and November. The improved growth rate in December is in line with the evident shift of the Latvian economy to a higher gear in 2017. The full-year industrial production growth figure was 8.5% in 2017, compared to 4.9% in 2016.
Latvian GDP grew just 2% in 2016. In the fourth quarter, however, economic growth came in at a seasonally adjusted 4.8% y/y, the CSB announced on January 30. The economy is forecast to accelerate growth to 3.2%-5.2% in 2017, forecasts claim.
The annual industrial production growth in December was driven by expansion in the segments of manufacturing and mining and quarrying. Output in manufacturing grew 7.7% y/y, while in mining and quarrying, it jumped 14.4% y/y in December. In the utilities segment, output fell 1.5% on the year.
Within the manufacturing sector, most segments recorded annual production growth. Manufacture of machinery and equipment surged 41.4% y/y, while production of motor vehicles, trailers, and semi-trailers expanded 38.9% y/y. Output in the wood, computers, and furniture segments contracted.
In seasonally adjusted monthly terms, industrial production grew 1.3%, with growth in manufacturing inching up 0.3% m/m. In the utilities segment, production advanced 4.5% on the month. Output in mining and quarrying contracted 1.4% m/m.