Latvian industrial production returns to growth in May

Latvian industrial production returns to growth in May
By Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw July 5, 2019

Latvia's calendar-adjusted industrial production grew 1.7% y/y in May, the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) reported on July 4

The reading marks a return to growth for the Baltic state’s industrial sector after output fell in April in what was a third fall in the previous five months. Erratic output figures early in the year appear to be a harbinger of the likely easing of GDP growth in the Baltic state in 2019.

Lithuania’s GDP growth slowed down to unadjusted 3% y/y in the first quarter, compared to unadjusted expansion of 5.1% y/y in the fourth quarter, the CSB said in late May. Latvia’s economic expansion is expected to moderate to 3.1% in 2019, from 4.8% the preceding year.

The growth of industrial output in May came on the back of production in the manufacturing segment expanding 1.7% y/y in May, a slowdown versus growth of 3.8% y/y the preceding month.

Production in mining and quarrying fell 3.3% y/y in May after jumping 23% on the year in April. In the electricity and gas supply segment, output grew 2.8% y/y after a fall of 22.6% y/y previously.

Within the manufacturing sector, 10 of 16 segments recorded annual production growth in May. Expansion was the fastest in production of electrical equipment, at 32.9% y/y. Output fell the most in the manufacture of chemicals and chemical products, at 10.2% y/y.

In seasonally adjusted monthly terms, industrial production expanded 2.1% in May after falling 2% m/m the preceding month.

Output in the manufacturing segment fell 0.1% m/m in May after falling at the same monthly rate in the fourth month. Mining and quarrying saw production fall 8.3% m/m, which followed an expansion of 3.5% m/m in April.

In the utility segment, production grew 10.9% on the month, versus growth of 8.7% m/m in April.

In January-May, industrial production grew a calendar-adjusted 1.7% y/y, CSB also said.