Latvia's crisis begins to abate

  • 2010-05-11
  • Oskars Magone

Latvia may finally be seeing the beginning of the end of Europe's worst economic crisis.

RIGA -- Latvia's national statistics agency has announced that the country's GDP grew in the first quarter of the year for the first time since the onset of the crisis - an indication that the economic crisis in the country may be coming to a close.

Latvia has been the worst-hit country in Europe by the crisis, with GDP growth plummeting from the highest in the bloc to the lowest.

The statistics agency said that while there was a slight GDP growth, the numbers were still negative year-on-year.

"According to seasonally adjusted data, compared to the 1st quarter of 2009 GDP has reduced by 5.1%, but compared to the 4th quarter of 2009 – it increased by 0.3%," the statistics agency said in a press release.

Analysts have hailed the news as a indication that the crisis in the country may be coming to a close.

"It means the recession is over," Lija Strasuna, an economist at Sweden's Swedbank, told AFP.

Estonia, meanwhile, reported a small decline in GDP as the country waits for eurozone approval -- this comes, however, on the heels of relatively large growth at the end of last year. Lithuania's statistics agency has not yet released GDP data.