Latvian Economy Grows Quicker Than Forecast at EU’s Fastest Pace

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Latvia’s economy expanded at the quickest pace in the European Union in the fourth quarter, fueled by trade and manufacturing.

Gross domestic product grew a preliminary 5.1 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 5.2 percent advance in the third quarter, the statistics office, based in the capital, Riga, said today by e-mail. That’s more than the 4.5 percent median estimate of 10 economists in a Bloomberg survey. GDP rose 1.3 percent from the previous quarter.

The Baltic country’s economy expanded by more than 5 percent for a second year in 2012 as output rebounded from the world’s deepest recession in 2008-2009, which erased almost a quarter of GDP. Growth will slow to 3.7 percent this year, the government estimates.

Trade grew 11 percent from a year earlier in the October-December period, while manufacturing expanded 6 percent, according to today’s statement. The statistics office will release detailed GDP data March 11.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Eglitis in Riga at aeglitis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net