|WEEK 23rd 2004
Friday, the 4th of June, 2004
State budget deficit arose
In January-May 2004 common Latvian state budget income was LVL 508.41 million (EUR 767.99 million), while the expenses were LVL 525.36 million (EUR 793.59 million). Therefore, for the first time in 2004 the budget deficit was created, which amount is LVL 16.94 million (EUR 25.58 million).
Thursday, the 3rd of June, 2004
Businessmen become more active
The activity of businessmen grew significantly. During five months of this year the Enterprises Register had registered 3,847 new companies, which is by 32% more than in the same period of 2003. The local entrepreneurs little by little buy out their shares in joint enterprises, and the foreign capital comes to their hands.
Economic activity index is +5.3%
In April 2004 economic activity index grew by 5.3% in comparison with the same period of 2003. It was influenced mostly by the growth in retail trade sphere and cash circulation.
Wednesday, the 2nd of June, 2004
Close the food market
Starting from June 1 Russia closed its market for food products of animal origin to new EU member-states, because Russia and the European Commission have not reached an agreement on regulations for trading food. It could cause great losses for the businessmen. Only those enterprises, which received special permission from Russian veterinary institutions, can export their goods. Now everything depends on further negotiations between Russia and the EC.
Tuesday, the 1st of June, 2004
Lat is undervalued
According to the Big Mac index theory calculated by The Economist, Latvian lat is undervalued by 31%. The dollar should cost LVL 0.38 (EUR 0.57), not LVL 0.54-0.55 (EUR 0.81-0.83) as it is at present. The magazine calculates the value of currency, comparing the price of Big Mac in different countries. It is not the precise way of defining the value, but in general this method describes the situation correctly.
Investments are passing by
The heads of foreign companies do not consider Latvia to be an attractive country for the investments. According to the research conducted by Ernst&Young, the most attractive countries are China, the USA and Germany. As for the new EU member-states, these are Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
Monday, the 31st of May, 2004
Salaries grow two times faster than the prices
According to the data of the Central Statistical Bureau, in the first quarter of 2004 in comparison with the same period of 2003 consumer prices in Latvia grew by 4.3%, while the average salary increased by 9.6%. The highest average salaries are in state sector, LVL 162.46 (EUR 245.40). The lowest are in the private sector, LVL 131.24 (EUR 198.24). The average salary in public sector is LVL 153.42 (EUR 231.75), and in financial institutions LVL 147.84 (EUR 223.32).
Everybody wants to cooperate
Many high officials took part in the Baltic Forum, which theme was 'The Baltics and Russia in Large Europe of 21st Century'. Officials and businessmen from both countries discussed the current problems in economic relations. One of the problematic things is that economic and political issues influence each other.
Baltic Weekly MonitorA