- A notable decrease in unemployment
In April, the unemployment level went down 0.4 percentage point, to 10.4% of economically active population. It is confirmed also by the data of the CSB of Latvia: the number of job seekers contracted and that of the employed grew in the first quarter of the current year.
- A deficit in the current account
With the growth in imports of goods outpacing that in exports in March, the current account of Latvia's balance of payments recorded a deficit of 31.7 million lats.
- A higher budget surplus
The general government consolidated budget ran a surplus of 58.4 million lats in April, which totalled 90.2 million lats in the first four months of the year.
- GDP growth continues
According to the CSB flash estimate, in the first quarter of 2013 Latvia's GDP grew by 3.1% year-on-year and 1.2% quarter-on-quarter.
- In April consumer prices remained unchanged; in annual terms, deflation was recorded
In April, with consumer prices on the same level as in March, annual inflation in Latvia turned negative (-0.4%) for the first time since August 2010, and the 12-month average inflation fell to 1.2%.
- A fall in manufacturing output
In March manufacturing output contracted 2.2% month-on-month and 5.7% year-on-year. Nevertheless, a rise in energy output in March contributed to a slight pickup (+0.7%) in industrial output in general.
- Moderate growth in Latvia's foreign trade
In March, both exports and imports of Latvian goods saw moderate month-on-month and year-on-year growth, while its foreign trade balance deteriorated somewhat.
- A faster growth in retail turnover resumed
In March, the rise in the total turnover of retail enterprises has substantially exceeded the February indicator: month-on-month, the turnover has increased by 2.1%, and 8.8% year-on-year.
- Base rate of euro reduced
The European Central Bank has by 0.25 percentage points reduced the interest rate on main refinancing transactions (to 0.50%). The interest rate on the overnight lending facility has been reduced by 0.50 percentage points (to 1.00%), but the interest rate on the overnight deposit facility (0%) remains unchanged.
- Producer prices slightly up
In March, producer prices in Latvian industry rose 0.1%, with the prices of domestically sold production down and those of exported production up. Year-on-year, producer prices have increased by 2.2%, including for exports by 3.8%.
- A surplus registered in the current account once again
In February, there was a small surplus (1.4 mil. lats) in Latvia’s current account, which was determined by a further reduction in the goods foreign trade deficit and an improvement in the positive balance of services trade.
- The state budget balance returns to positive
In March, there was a 45.7 mil. lats surplus in the state consolidated general budget and thus a positive balance (31.8 mil. lats) formed also in the first quarter overall.
- Household deposits on the rise
In Latvian credit institutions in March household deposits continued to rise, but the total money supply dropped by 1.4%, with the balance of business funds dropping in their bank accounts.
- The budget deficit of general government budget shrank last year
The budget deficit of the general government calculated according to the European account system methodology, dropped in 2012 to 1.2% of gross domestic product (in 2011, it reached 3.6% of GDP).
- A rise in consumer prices in March does not change the trend of dropping annual inflation
Even though consumer prices in March increased by 0.5%, both the annual inflation (0.2%) and the average inflation of the last 12 months (1.5%).continued to drop.
- Export growth continued in Feburary
In February, Latvia’s external trade balance continued to improve, with the goods exports up 1.9% month-on-month and 9.6% year-on-year.
- Unemployment resumed dropping in February
After rising for two months, in March the unemployment level in Latvia once again dropped by 0.1 percentage points, constituting 10.8% of the economically active population by the end of the month.
- Overall industrial output down in February
The industrial production output in February dropped both month-on-month (by 2.6%) and year-on-year (by 1.9%). The drop was determined by the power industry, whereas manufacturing output has grown slightly in both cases.
- Procurement of new trains hits a dead end
With the mediation process regarding the procurement of new trains ending without an agreement, the Spanish company "Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles" instigated court proceedings against the company "Pasažieru vilciens" and its shareholder Ministry of Transportation regarding the execution of the contract signed last year on delivery of trains. The government has agreed to allot the Cohesion Fund financing, in the amount of 100 mil. lats, to other projects.
- Retail turnover down
The total retail turnover in February dropped 1.2% month-on-month, yet year-on-year, growth has been retained (+5.7%).
- State denies rescue to "Liepājas metalurgs"
The government has refrained from providing state support to "Liepājas metalurgs" enterprise, which is experiencing financial difficulty.
- Producer prices have dropped
In February, the producer price level in Latvian industry dropped by 0.2%, including 0.4% for the production sold domestically. Thus the annual rise in producer prices has dropped to 1.7% and 1.3%. respectively.
- The amount of cash currency in circulation has shrunk
For a second consecutive month, the amount of cash lats in circulation has dropped, whereas the total money supply has increased by 0.6% month-on-month and 3.4% year-on-year.
- Gross domestic product continues to grow rapidly
Both in the 4th quarter and in 2012 overall GDP growth in Latvia has been among the fastest in the European Union at 5.1% and 5.6% respectively.
- "Moody's" raises Latvia’s credit rating
The international credit rating agency "Moody's" has raised Latvia’s credit rating one level, from Baa3 to Baa2, forecasting a positive credit rating outlook.
- External trade indicators grow more moderate
In January, for a third consecutive month, both the export and import value of Latvian goods dropped. Year-on-year, however, export and import growth has been retained (by 11.7% and 3.2% respectively With the services export excess over import shrinking, a 36.5 mil. lats deficit formed in the current account in January.
- Unemployment level stabilized
In February, just as in January, unemployment has remained at 10.9% of the economically active population.