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Latvia leads Baltic surge

  • 2012-12-12
  • From wire reports

RIGA - In the first nine months of the year, Latvia’s economy grew 5.6 percent, thus “We are the European Union’s leader in economic growth, and are followed by Lithuania, and two eurozone countries - Slovenia and Estonia,” Latvian Finance Minister Andris Vilks wrote on his ‘Twitter account on Dec. 7, reports Nozare.lv. “This list of countries with the largest economic growth in the EU will remain similar next year as well - Latvia, Slovakia, Poland, Estonia and Lithuania,” the finance minister predicted.

In the third quarter this year, Latvia’s gross domestic product increased 5.2 percent from the third quarter of 2011, according to the Central Statistical Bureau’s seasonally unadjusted data. In the first nine months of 2012 as compared with the same period in 2011, Latvia’s GDP grew 5.6 percent.
Lithuania’s GDP growth was 4.4 percent when compared to the third quarter of 2011.

Estonia’s economy grew 3.5 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, faster than the preliminary estimate of 3.4 percent, bolstered by construction and export growth, reports Bloomberg. Output grew a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent from the previous quarter, compared with an earlier estimate of a 1.7 percent expansion, the statistics office said on its Web site on Dec. 10.

Estonia has been buffered by robust retail sales, rising corporate investment and public-sector construction financed by sales of spare United Nations carbon-emissions quota. The $22 billion economy may grow 2.5 percent this year and 3.1 percent in 2013 as economies of its main export partners recover from Europe’s debt crisis, the European Commission forecast.

Household spending advanced 7 percent after a 2 percent increase in the second quarter, while shipments of goods such as wireless network gear for Stockholm-based Ericsson AB and wind generators for Zurich-based ABB Ltd. rose 5 percent from a year earlier after a 4 percent increase in the second quarter.