Manufacturing back to pre-crisis levels

18.05.2012, 15:28

Latvia's industrial output has been growing steadily ever since Latvia reached the lowest point of recession, writes news2biz.

The first quarter of 2012 has been no exception. This March, the industrial output is up 8.5% y-o-y and 2% m-o-m. The quarterly growth is up 8.3% y-o-y and 1.7%

During the previous years, the industrial output in the first quarter of the year was driven by increased energy consumption – it, in turn, being driven by cold February weather.

This year is different: energy production is down 5.8% y-o-y, although it has risen 1% q-o-q. Most of the increased output comes from manufacturing, which was up 4.3% m-o-m and 15.4% y-o-y in March. The quarterly results also look convincing: they are up 14.8% y-o-y and 3.5% q-o-q.

The Latvian Ministry of Finance believes that the growth figures could be the largest in the European Union. A significant contribution to the increased output was the Latvian steel mill Liepajas Metalurgs. Following a sizeable production upgrade, it now boasts a significantly increased output: up 68.7% y-o-y in March.

Another traditional Latvian export – timber – is up 5.7% y-o-y, although the growth in this sector has slowed down.

With all the increased output, Latvia is finally back to pre-recession levels and even surpassing them. The previous record was set in March 2008.