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Latvia's Q1 GDP Growth Weakest Since 2010

Latvia's economic growth slowed to the weakest in more than two years in the first quarter of 2013 amid a contraction in manufacturing activity, preliminary data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia showed Friday.

The gross domestic product grew 3.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter. This was the weakest expansion in national output since the fourth quarter of 2010, when GDP was up 2.8 percent.

This followed a 5.1 percent expansion in the fourth quarter of 2012. Manufacturing output dropped 5 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier.

Retail trade grew 6 percent year-on-year, while there was a 9 percent growth in construction, the statistical office said.

On a quarterly basis, the seasonally adjusted GDP rose 1.2 percent following a 1.3 percent gain in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Separately, the statistical office reported that Latvia's trade deficit fell to LVL 167.4 million in March from LVL 106.1 million shortfall recorded in February.

Compared to February, exports value of goods increased 5.3 percent and imports grew 14 percent. On an annual basis, exports rose 2.6 percent and imports increased 1.3 percent.

In another report, the bureau said Latvia's consumer price index fell 0.4 percent in April compared to a year earlier. However, on a monthly basis, CPI remained unchanged.

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