Latvia's calendar-adjusted industrial production expanded 5.1% y/y in May, after dropping into contraction the previous month, the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) reported on July 3.
The growth interrupts the recent trend in which output has been gradually slowing, resulting in April's shrink. Questions remain on how sustained the expansion could be, especially in the context of problems at steelmaker Liepajas Metalurgs, the country’s largest manufacturing facility. However, May's expansion was the highest since a November outburst of 7% y/y.
Output in the manufacturing sector expanded 5.3% on the year. Within the sector, production of computer, electronic and optical products boomed over 24%, followed by a nearly 20% growth in the fabricated metal products segment.
Output in electricity and gas supply also contributed to the headline result by growing 4.8%. Only production in the mining and quarrying sector declined, by 2.9%.
In seasonally-adjusted monthly terms, industrial production grew 2.4%, with mining and quarrying declining 1.8%, while manufacturing grew 2.9%. The electricity and gas supply segment expanded 2.8% on the month.
Still, it will take a more sustained growth in industry to relieve worries over the wider Latvian economy, which has recently been projected to expand only 1.9% in 2016, down from 2.7% in 2015.