During the last 5 years Latvia has work on improving their economy through exports. This work has not been easy especially after the 2008-crisis United States suffered and as a consequence, all economies were affected as well. Nevertheless, in December 2015 the trade gap increased from 155.5 million EUR to the 124.7 million EUR in the previous month due to exports declination was faster than imports. One can say Latvian economy made some adjustments during all the 2015 and the start point of this adjustments was on January the 1st 2015 when Latvia moved to the Euro. Hence, Latvia’s economy continues to improve. Although growth has slowed it’s still one of the fastest-growing within the EU and Eurozone. Plus, Annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was at 2.1% in quarter 4 of 2014 and it was expected that growth will stabilize at 2 to 2.2% in 2015. Joining the Eurozone didn’t impact prices. Inflation remains stable at around 0%, but is expected to reach 1 to 1.5% in December 2015. Domestic demand will play a major role in Latvia’s economic growth. For the coming years, Latvia’s export opportunities are also expected to improve.
Latvia’s economy focuses on:
- food and drink
- information communications technology (ICT)
In order to better understand what happened to Latvian economy during the 2015, here is a list with the most important 2015 news-headlines with a short explanation of the them taken from The Baltic Times.
Latvia’s GDP grows by 2.7 percent in Q2 2015:
This information was provided by the Latvia national statistics office. They affirmed the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew seasonally by 2.7, compared to the same period in 2014. The growth of Latvia’s GDP was driven by the following areas: the manufacturing sector raised a 2 percent and the services sector raised a 3 percent, which excludes trade. In fact, trade sector reached 4 percent. Actually, during the second quarter of 2015 Latvia’s GDP grew by 1.2 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2015.
Latvia claims 800,000 euros from Expo 2015:
During an interview made by 900 Sekundes Programme, Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Latvia’s Economy Minister) exposed that her ministry claimed 800,000 euros from the partnership and organizer of the international trade fair, Expo 2015. According to the Minister, this amount is the cost spent on preparation for the World Expo 2015 event, usually held in Milan. She argued that after some analyses on the cash flow related to the Expo project, they discovered the unacceptable fact that several tasks were paid for several times and some prices such as developing the website costs had been inflated. On the other hand, several officials and businessmen requested additional budget from the Economy Ministry’s resources claiming Latvia’s reputation would be harmed if they were out of the fair. All these facts led the Minister to made the decision of not attending the fair.
Basic wage in Latvia has grown by almost 4 percent in 2015:
Despite the total annual wage rose by 5.5 percent, the 52.8 percent of workers felt basic wage had not changed, 0.3 percent of workers dealt with wage reduction. Thus, employees thought more positively since 46.96 percent of them. Points of view varied from employees to workers because while the first group considered their wage grew, the second group felt their total wage declined. Employees were benefitted with bonus they had received. Those bonuses also increased from 46.3 percent in 2014 to 50.2 percent in 2015. As expected, in Riga, the Latvian capital, the monthly basic salary grew faster than in other regions in the country. The compared percentages were 3.7 to 3.4 respectively. But, in Riga the total salary rise achieved a 0.6 percent less than in other regions where the rise was 6 percent. This analyses were made by one of the largest consulting company in Baltics, Fontes, that analyzed more than 37,000 employees from 200 companies.
Employment level in Latvia at 9.9 pct in 2015:
The Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia reported during 2015 in Latvia around 98,200 people aged 15 to 74 were unemployed. Fortunately, this number of unemployed people decreased around 9,500 people or 8.8 percent of the number registered in 2014. Also, this rate has a genre predilection since among women it is lower than among men – 8.6 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively but, there is not any explanation that justifies this difference between both genres.