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WEEK 51st 2003

Friday, the 19th of December, 2003

Parliament introduced 5 percent VAT
On December 18, the parliament accepted the alterations to the law on Value Added Tax (VAT). It anticipates introduction of a 5 percent VAT instead of the current 9 percent starting May 1, 2004. The 5 percent tax will be applied to 10 product categories – supply of medicine, medical equipment, medical goods, veterinary medicine, specialized products for babies, books, mass media (except erotic and pornographic editions and those which have advertisements more than 50 percent of the content), services connected with hotel stays, supply of water via central water supply, sewerage services, and services of gathering, transporting and storing the household waste. Currently these goods, except for books, are applied 9 percent VAT.
(Biznes & Baltija)

Invest by 3 percent more
In the first nine months of 2003, the long-term nonmaterial investments and investments in fixed capital amounted to LVL 695.1 million, an increase of 3 percent compared to the respective time period last year. LVL 217.3 million have been invested in the public sector. It is 8 percent less than in the same period a year ago. It forms 31 percent of the total nonmaterial investments in Latvia. The private sector received LVL 477.8 million, which is 8 percent more than a year ago.
(Dienas Biness)

Thursday, the 18th of December, 2003

Deficit in state budget
In the first eleven months of 2003, the state budget has gained a fiscal deficit of LVL 5.23 million. The revenues of the state budget formed LVL 1.9 billion, whereas the expenditures reached LVL 1.914 billion. The Ministry of Finance stresses that the deficit is lower as it was anticipated due to the increase of 11 percent in the revenues. The plan for the social insurance budget is overachieved. In the first eleven months of 2003, its incomings were LVL 520.58 million, an increase of LVL 21.1 million as it was planed. Thus it has created a fiscal surplus of LVL 39.36 million.
(Dienas Biness)

Monday, the 15th of December, 2003

An increase of 13 percent in retail
According to the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia, in the first ten months of 2003, the retail turnover amounted to LVL 2.24 billion, which is 13 percent more than in the same period a year ago. The fastest increase was in the retail of textiles, clothing, footwear and leather in the first ten months of 2003. It grew by 38 percent, reaching LVL 63.92 million. The retail of furniture, lighting equipment, appliances, electrical appliances, radios, televisions, colours, glass and similar goods increased by 28 percent, reaching LVL 215.1 million. The retail turnover outside the shops decreased by 19 percent, reaching LVL 80.7 million, whereas the turnover of the second-hand stores decreased by 4 percent, reaching LVL 8.443 million. The retail turnover in October was LVL 255.1 million, an increase of 14 percent, compared to October 2002.
(Dienas Biness)

LB does not anticipate raise in credit rates
The president of the Bank of Latvia, Ilmars Rimsevics, does not anticipate a raise in credit rates in lats after Latvia joins the European Economy and Monetary Union in 2005. According to the analysis prepared by Mr. Rimsevics and other specialists, it is not due that the current EU rates to raise and be higher in 2005 as the current rates in lats in Latvia.
(Dienas Biness)

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