Latvia's calendar-adjusted industrial production grew 4.7% y/y in December, slowing from an expansion of 11.5% the previous month, the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) reported on March 6.
The gain is the fifth positive reading in a row following a hiccup in August; 10 of the last 12 months have shown output growth. A positive start for the industrial sector in 2017 increases the likelihood that Latvian GDP growth can shift into a higher gear, as is forecast. Latvian GDP grew 2% in 2016 and is forecast to pick up speed to 2.8% - the fastest growth in the Baltic states – this year.
The annual industrial production growth in January owed to expansion in all but one main category. Mining and quarrying grew 18.8%, while the manufacturing sector expanded 7.8%. In the utilities segment output contracted 0.4%.
Within the manufacturing sector, production of machinery and equipment boomed 35.4% y/y, while manufacture of beverages expanded nearly 26%, followed by a 20.3% gain in the electrical equipment segment.
In seasonally adjusted monthly terms industrial production fell 2.8%, with mining and quarrying expanding 2.9%. Manufacturing fell 2.8% m/m, while output in utilities decreased 3.5%.