Compared to Q1 Latvia’s gross domestic product at constant prices increased by 1.2% in Q2. Compared to the corresponding period of 2016, in Q2 the GDP grew by 4% according to seasonally and calendar non-adjusted data and by 4.8% according to adjusted data.
In Q2, the GDP amounted to 6.8 billion euros at current prices and at 5.7 billion euros at constant prices, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
Compared to Q2 2016, in Q2 2017 the manufacturing section grew by 7%. Growth was recorded in almost all manufacturing divisions. Manufacture of food products went up by 7% and manufacture of fabricated metal products by 4%. Significant rise was also experienced in manufacture of electrical equipment (by 34%), manufacture of chemicals and chemical products (23%), and manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products (21%).
There was an 18% increase in the production volumes of mining and quarrying. Under the influence of the building of streets and roads, significant rise was recorded in quarrying – 33% (sand, gravel, rubble).
The production volume in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply went up by 11%, of which by 9% in electric power generation, transmission and distribution and by 31% in steam and air conditioning supply.
Construction output increased by 16%. An increase of 17% was recorded in the construction of non-residential buildings, of 28% in construction of highways, streets and roads, airfield runways, and railways, and of 18% in construction of long-distance pipelines, communication and electricity lines. A downturn of 15% was registered in construction of residential buildings.
Retail trade in both non-food and food products increased by 3%. Over the period, wholesale increased by 2%, while wholesale, retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles grew by 11%.
Within the transportation and storage section, passenger traffic rose by 7%, freight traffic fell by 4%, warehousing and support activities for transportation grew by 7%, and postal and courier activities increased by 5%.
Accommodation and food service activities went up by 7%, of which accommodation by 10% and food and beverage service activities by 5%.
Within the section of financial and insurance activities, the drop in the profit from commercial transactions with financial instruments was still observed.
The volume of taxes on products (value added tax, excise and customs taxes) increased by 1%.
Compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year, in Q2 household expenditure on housing rose by 0.5% and on transport (expenditure on public transport, purchase and exploitation of transport vehicles) by 3%. Household expenditure on recreation and culture went up by 8%, whereas expenditure on food did not change over the year. Government final consumption expenditure grew by 5%.
Investment in the gross fixed capital formation grew by 26%, of which by 21% in dwellings and other buildings and structures and by 25% in machinery and equipment. Investment in intellectual property products (research, computer software, databases, copyrights, etc.) increased by 47%.
In Q2, exports of goods and services rose by 5%, of which exports of goods by 4% and exports of services by 7%. Exports to the EU countries mainly consisted of wood and products of wood and cork (except furniture), food products, as well as transportation and tourism services. Imports, in its turn, went up by 8%, of which imports of goods by 9% and imports of services by 6%. Imports from the EU countries mainly involved food products, computer, electronic and optical products, as well as transportation and tourism services.
Compared to Q2 of 2016, in Q2 2017 compensation of employees grew by 8%. The upturn was facilitated by the increase of compensation of employees in manufacturing (by 8%), construction (10%), and trade (9%). Gross operating surplus and mixed income increased by 5%, whereas the balance of taxes on production and imports and subsidies went up by 9%. (BNN/Business World Magazine)