Observer Latvija SIA
WEEK 3rd 2004.

Friday, the 16th of January, 2004

BL worried about the growth of inner demand
On January 15, the Bank of Latvia (BL) decided not to change the basic interest rates due to the fact that the macroeconomic situation in Latvia do not need any corrections now. However, the dynamics, which characterizes the inner demand, especially the salaries and development of issuing loans, may force the bank to make corrections in future. The BL anticipates that the inflation in 2004 will reach 3.8 percent in Latvia. This year, the average inflation reached 2.9 percent, which is a satisfying result. The reasons for the increase in inflation were the rise in prices for some unprocessed food products, administrative regulatory prices and growth of euro currency rates. These factors will contribute to the increase in inflation also in 2004.
(Biznes & Baltija)

Thursday, the 15th of January, 2004

Increase GDP prognosis to 7.2 percent
The Bank of Latvia has increased the prognosis of the GDP growth from 7.0 percent to 7.1 percent in 2003 due to the dynamical development of the most significant branches of the national economy, and the GDP growth of 7.3 percent in the third quarter. The bank anticipates a 7 percent GDP increase this year. The manufacturing industry, construction, trade, transport, storage and connections industry will contribute the most to the GDP growth in 2004.
(Dienas Bizness)

Tuesday, the 13th of January, 2004

Industry to rise in ten years
On January 12, the government commission approved the project Basic Guidelines for Latvian Industry. The project is developed for a time period of next 10 years. According to the Minister of Economy, Juris Lujans, the program will allow increasing the industry's volume to 7 to 10 percent. It will amount to 20 percent of the GDP instead of the current 15 percent. In the nearest three to five years it is planned to integrate into the EU market. The production of the industry has to be increased from the current 25 percent of the EU level to 40 percent. One more goal is to increase the specific weight of the high technologies from the current 5 percent to 10 percent. The companies with ecological and quality management will be favoured. It is planned that their number should increase by 10 percent annually. The plan of further actions should be developed by March 31, 2004. The government in its nearest meetings will view the project.
(Biznes & Baltija)

Monday, the 12th of January, 2004

Trade increases
In eleven months of 2003, the retail turnover amounted to LVL 2.47 billion, an increase of 13 percent compared to the same period a year ago. The unspecialized shops had the largest growth of LVL 742.84 million, an increase of 19 percent compared to the same period a year ago. The sales of cars, motorcycles and their parts hold the second place, leaving the sales of car fuel in the third place. The sales of textiles, leather, clothing and footwear, which were sold for LVL 70.87 million sum, featured the largest increase of 37 percent. The turnover of the companies, which are not selling goods in shops, has decreased by 20 percent reaching LVL 89.159 million.
Biznes & Batlija

Latvian economy holds 29th position
Latvia holds the 29th position among 155 countries of the world in the economical freedom rating of the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal. A year ago, Latvia had the 33rd place. This year, Estonia is in the sixth place, whereas Lithuania – in 22nd.
(Dienas Bizness)

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