Latvian Economy Grows at Slowest Pace in Almost 3 Years

Latvia’s economy expanded at the slowest pace in almost three years, missing economists forecasts as manufacturing output weighed on growth.

Gross domestic product rose 3.5 percent from a year earlier in the fourth quarter, the central statistics office, based in the capital, Riga, said today in an e-mailed statement. That’s less than all five economist estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Output grew a 0.7 percent from the previous quarter, it said. Revised data will be released March 11.

The Baltic nation’s economy grew by more than 5 percent in 2011 and 2012, after enduring a slump of more than a fifth of output in 2008-2010 when it sought a 7.5 billion-euro ($10.2 billion) international bailout. Latvia became the euro area’s 18th member on Jan. 1 after narrowing its budget deficit and stemming consumer-price growth.

While retail trade expanded 3.9 percent from a year earlier in the October-December period and services advanced 6.7 percent, manufacturing grew 2.6 percent, the statistics office said.

The yield on Latvia’s 2021 Eurobond fell two basis points to 2.385 percent at 12:03 p.m. in Riga, the lowest level since it began trading on Jan. 15.

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