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Rapid industrial growth expected to continue in 2011

By Anatol Steven. 09.02.2011

Wood and pulp industry
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Manufacturing output volumes are expected to continue to increase in Latvia in 2011, though not quite at the rapid rates of growth seen in the last year and a half.

The rate will be lower this year because of a higher base for comparison, Igors Kasjanovs, economist at the Bank of Latvia, explained. But certain factors may push it higher.
“A gradual strengthening of domestic demand alongside price levels in the global raw material markets and economic growth in Latvia’s main trading partners may promote an increase in the manufacturing industry output,” he said.
Output increased by 16.3% in Latvia in 2010, with output in manufacturing industries growing by 14%, in the mining industry by 9.7% and in electrical power and gas supply by 13.7% compared to 2009.
The rapid recovery of Latvian manufacturing last year was based mostly on foreign markets and an increase in price competitiveness.
The greatest increases in output volumes were observed in electrical appliances, up 36.3%; 27.2% in wood pulp processing and wood products; 25.1% in ready-made metal products; 19.3% in textile products; and 18.1% in chemicals and chemical products.
However, falls in output volume were seen in food production, down 0.3%, pharmaceuticals, down 2.5%, and in furniture manufacturing, down 1.5%.
“Manufacturing showed the greatest development in 2010, exceeding pre-crisis indicators,” Finance Minister Andris Vilks commented.

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