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

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.

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