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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Latvia Industrial Output April 2008

Latvia industrial output seems to have rebounded somewhat in April, although given the unusual calendar situation of easter I think we need to be careful before drawing any strong conclusions (although the data are in principle corrected for calendar effects). As compared to March 2007, Latvian industrial production at constant prices increased in April by 4.4%, according to the seasonally adjusted data from the Central Statistical Bureau. In mining and quarrying there was an increase of 2.5%, in manufacturing of 1.3%, and in electricity, gas and water supply the increase was 6.3%.

Compared to April 2007, in April 2008 industrial output according to seasonally adjusted data increased by 3.7%. In manufacturing there was a 2.6% increase, in electricity, gas and water supply a 9% one, while in mining and quarrying the volume decreased by 12.9% year on year.

What we can see is that in April the downward trend was broken, and now we need to see how much of this is sustained into May.

The rebound in manufacturing is (as can be seen in the above chart) spectacular, almost too spectacular, and I suspect there are statistical issues here, and that the March level is neither as low as it appears, nor the April level so high. Perhaps a better picture can be obtained by looking at the actual volume index itself, where we can see that industrial output is still well below the peak achieved last August. I think we should get a better idea of what the actual trend is when we see the May data.

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