Thursday, April 10, 2008

IMF predicts six lean years for Latvia

They expect Latvian economic growth to slow down from 10.2% in 2007 to 3.6% in 2008 and then 0.45% in 2009 and 0.28% in 2010. By 2013, the economic growth will rebound but only to 3.0%/year.

So, the cumulative growth in six years from 2008 to 2013 will be around the same as the one year growth in 2007. This is the most negative economic forecast on Latvia I've seen so far but, sadly, it's plausible.

The IMF report is here, LETA news summary is here. Both Lithuania and Estonia are expected to experience sharp slowdowns as well, but not as sharp as Latvia.

UPDATE (11/04): All/almost all Latvian financial experts think that the forecast is overly pessimistic. Given that we are already in recession in terms of quarter-on-quarter growth, I find 3.6%/year in 2008 quite plausible. (I would not even be surprised if we do even worse in 2008.) I do hope (and think) that we will rebound faster than the IMF estimate for 2010-2013, though.

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