|WEEK 37th 2004
Friday, the 10th of September, 2004
Retail trade slows down in July
In July 2004 the turnover of retail trade companies in Latvia grew by 9.2% in comparison with the same month of 2003. This is the slowest rise from the beginning of the current year. In comparison with June 2004 the turnover grew by 2.8%. In general in January-July this index increased by 13%. It was growing faster in textile products, clothes, shoes and leather products trade, by 42%. Medical products and cosmetics trade experienced a fall by 1.2%.
Inflation can delay introducing euros
Latvian bank increased its year's prognosis on the inflation level up to 7%. It also allows that if the tendency continues, Latvia will not be able to introduce euro in 2008. The current account deficit in the first half of 2004 reached 13.5%, which exceeds this index during the first half of 2003
in two times. Latvian Bank critically evaluates the decision of the government to increase budget expenses, therefore provoking growth in prices.
Latvia is ranked as one of the most favourable countries for business
In the research 'Business in 2005. Liquidation of obstacles for growth', conducted by the World Bank, Slovakia is named as the greatest reformer. Latvia and Lithuania are named among 26 most favourable countries for business. Last year Latvia was also one of the most active states in introducing more flexible employment regulations. In general the research includes 145 countries.
Thursday, the 9th of September, 2004
New EU regulation is being created
The EU is preparing a new regulation, REACH, on import of chemical products from the third countries. It stipulates the following measures. If a company imports more than one ton of a chemical substance, it should be registered in the central data base. In order to register it, the company has to create a dossier on this substance, which would require significant expenses, several thousand euros. This system can influence the price of chemical products, which could increase in several times. At present approximately
half of the chemical substances is imported from the third countries. It would be easier to import prepared products to the EU than to make them in the EU territory.
Wednesday, the 8th of September, 2004
When we will finally become rich?
According to the macroeconomic review prepared by Latvijas Unibanka, constantly growing prices in Latvia do not let people feel the growth in salaries. Besides, the increase of salaries in 2003 was 7.8%, but the current year it could be only 2%. At present Latvia remains the country with the lowest average salary in the EU. According to Nord/LB data, there is much Russian money in Latvia, and the most part of it belongs to the sphere of shadow economy.
Tuesday, the 7th of September 2004
We have the lowest salaries in Baltic States
According to the data of the Central Statistical Bureau, the lowest salaries in the Baltic States are in Latvia. In the second quarter of 2004 the average salary in Estonia was EUR 474, in Lithuania EUR 354 and in Latvia EUR 316. In comparison with the first quarter of the current year it increased by 6.6% in Latvia, by 5% in Lithuania and by 9.9% in Estonia. The lowest minimal salary also is in Latvia, EUR 120. In Lithuania it is EUR 145 and in Estonia EUR 159.
Monday, the 6th of September, 2004
Latvian Investment and Development Agency attracts 100.5 millions euros
In the first half of 2004 with the help of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency Latvia attracted investments, which amount to EUR 100.5 million. Therefore, the year's plan is already fulfilled. The finances are meant for 90 actual projects. In 2004 the number of active projects exceeds
the same index in 2002 in three-four times. The main investors are from Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Italy.
Baltic Weekly MonitorA