||WEEK 38th 2004
Friday, the 17th of September, 2004
In July import increased
In July 2004, in comparison with the same month of 2003, the total value of Latvian import grew by 15.5%. The export increased by 21.4%. In comparison with June 2004 import grew by 5.3%, while export increased by 4.4%. Timber and wood products have a leading role in the export structure, 31.7%, as well as metals and metal products, 12.2%, and textile, 11.4%. In import structure machines and equipment have 20.4%.
Thursday, the 16th of September, 2004
Unemployment grows again
In August 2004 the level of unemployment in Latvia grew by 0.2% in comparison with the same month of 2003 and reached 8.7%. According to the data of the Central Statistical Bureau, the lowest unemployment level was in Riga, 4.6%, Ogres region, 5.5%, and Rigas region, 5.7%. The situation is opposite in Ludzas region, Rezeknes region and Balvu region, where it reached 28.2%, 27.3% and 27% respectively.
Wednesday, the 15th of September, 2004
Expenses eat profit
In the first half of 2004 net turnover of Latvian companies increased by 17% and reached EUR 11.17 billion. However, their profit reduced by 9.7%, to EUR 418.3 million. The experts think that such indexes show the growth in expenses at the enterprises. Because of Latvia's accession into the EU many companies bought better equipment and more raw materials than in 2003. Expenses also grew due to the increase in metal and fuel prices after May 1, as well as the growth of salaries. The profit grew only in communications sphere; it increased by 37% and reached EUR 26.84 million.
According to the data of Latvian Enterprises Register as of July 21, 2004, the majority of joint ventures in the country are Latvian-Russian. Their number reached 1,706 companies. There are also 1,577 Latvian-American enterprises and 999 Latvian-Estonian firms.
Tuesday, the 14th of September 2004
Promise to support business more
Latvian Minister of Finance, Oskars Spurdzins, and Latvian Minister of Economy, Juris Lujans, promised that state budget law in 2005 would be more favourable for business. For example, more resources to be allocated for financing the promotion of business. It is planned that budget deficit in 2005 will be 2% of GDP. Latvian payments into the EU budget will increase up to EUR 123 million, while EUR 153 million are envisaged for acquisition of the EU funds.
Monday, the 13th of September, 2004
Latvian GDP increased by 8.2% in the first half of 2004. After the scandalous indexes of inflation and current accounts deficit, GDP gave hope that economical situation in Latvia is not so bad. The leading sphere in GDP structure is trade, which experienced an increase by 9.8%, as well as transport and communications, 9.6%, manufacturing industry, 8.5%, and construction industry, 4.7%.
Kommersant Baltic Daily
Investors roll up the sleeves
In January-July 2004 Latvia received direct investments, which amount to EUR 305.5 million. This is by 40.6% more than in the same period of 2003. According to the data of the Latvian Bank, reinvested profit from the investments was EUR 137.5 million, which is by 63.4% more than the last year.
Baltic Weekly MonitorA