Bloomberg News

Latvia’s Vilks Sees First-Quarter GDP Growth Rate at 3% or More

February 24, 2012

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Latvia’s economy will expand at least 3 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, Finance Minister Andris Vilks said, citing tax revenue exceeding the government’s target.

“The economy will most likely grow by at least 3 percent, if not by 4 percent or more,” said Vilks today in an interview with the Latvian Independent Television program 900 Seconds today.

Latvia’s economy expanded a preliminary 5 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to the central statistics bureau. The growth rate may slow to 2.1 percent this year, the European Commission said yesterday, cutting its estimate from 2.5 percent.

The budget surplus was 82 million lati ($157 million) last month as tax revenue was 9.6 percent more than planned, the Finance Ministry said in an e-mailed statement today. The government expects economic growth to slow to 2.5 percent this year and targets a budget deficit of 2.5 percent of gross domestic product, so it can adopt the euro in 2014.

--Editors: Balazs Penz, Alan Crosby

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Eglitis in Riga at aeglitis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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