Data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) and released February 28 show that in 2019, as compared to 2018, economic growth continued at a modest pace and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 2.2 %.
In 2019, GDP at current prices amounted to EUR 30.5 billion.
Compared to the 3 rd quarter, in the 4 th quarter of 2019 GDP at constant prices grew by just 0.1 % (according to seasonally and calendar adjusted data), a slight revision downwards on earlier flash estimates, as reported by LSM .
The growth rate was much more modest than in recent years. Annual GDP growth was 4.8 % in 2018 and 4.5 % in 2017.
In 2019, increases were registered in agriculture, forestry and fishing – of 12.8 %, which was mainly affected by production output rise in crop and livestock production – of 23.8 %, forestry and logging – of 5.9 %, but a decrease was recorded in fishery. In 2019, weather conditions were very favourable for the development of crop production sector, which ensured highest harvested production of grain in Latvia’s history (3.2 million tonnes) and rise of crop production over the previous year of 46.4 %. Volume of livestock production fell by 1.1 % (prices of livestock production have risen by 3.9 % over a year).
Manufacturing went up by 2.1 % (a rise was observed in ten out of 22 sectors). In the sector having the largest share in manufacturing – manufacture of wood and of products of wood – production output remained at the level of the previous year. Rise was recorded in manufacture of fabricated metal products (of 13.6 %), manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products (9.3 %), manufacture of electrical equipment (16.0 %), printing and reproduction of recorded media (7.5 %). But reduction was observed in manufacture of food products (of 0.8 %), manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products (2.1 %) and manufacture of furniture (2.8 %).
In electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply manufacturing volume fell by 4.4 %, of which in production and distribution of electricity – by 3.2 % and in steam and air conditioning supply there was a decrease of 10.3 %.
Construction production volume rose by 2.9 %. Over the year, construction of buildings grew by 7.8 %, civil engineering – by 1.0 %, and specialised construction activities by 0.2 %.
In 2019, retail trade increased by 2.4 %, of which retail trade in food products – by 1.1 %, but trade in non-food products – by 4.2 %. Wholesale trade, retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles rose by 6.2 %, but wholesale – by 5.3 %.
In transport and storage sector decrease of 4.0 % was promoted by drop in freight transport by 6.0 %, fall in warehousing and support activities for transportation by 7.5 %, rise in passenger traffic by 7.7 %, increase in postal and courier activities by 17.8 %.
Accommodation and catering services grew by 8.0 %, of which accommodation – by 1.2 %, catering – by 11.2 %.
Information and communication services grew by 2.0 %, including rise of 9.1 % in computer programming and consulting. Information and communication services decreased by 0.3 %, and telecommunication services – by 5.8 %.
In 2019, financial and insurance activities fell by 8.8 %, which was mainly because of the decline in financial service activities of 10.9 % and drop in activities auxiliary to financial services and insurance activities of 17.8 %.