Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSB) gives small insight into the most topical trends of Latvian economy and society recorded by the official statistics of 2015. The report covers data on the time period from January 2015 to the last reference period available.
Slight improvement observed in demographic indicators
During the last five years, demographic indicators are improving slightly; also in 2015, a positive trend was recorded. Number of marriages registered during the year has went up, and provisional data show that number of marriages registered in 2015 may reach 13.8 thousand (1.3 thousand marriages or 10 % more than in 2014). As compared to 2011, number of marriages per 1 000 population has grown from 5.2 to 7.0. Also number of births trends to increase. The expected number of births this year accounts for 22.4 thousand – 3 % more than in 2014. Number of births per 1 000 population has risen from 9.1 in 2011 to 11.3 this year. Moreover, during the last four years, death rate has not increased – in 2015, provisional number of deaths constitutes 28.5 thousand or 14.4 per 1 000 population.
In 3rd quarter GDP reached 3.3%
In the first three quarters of 2015 GDP growth was observed. In the 3rd quarter of 2015, compared to the corresponding period of 2014, GDP grew by 3.3% both according to seasonally adjusted and unadjusted data (in the first quarter – by 1.9% and 1.8%, respectively, in the second quarter – by 2.7% and 2.7%).
Unemployment rate finally has fallen below 10 %
For the first time in 7 years, already for the fourth quarter in a row, unemployment rate does not exceed 10 %. In the 3rd quarter of 2015, unemployment rate comprised 9.7 %, and number of unemployed persons aged 15–74 constituted 8 thousand, i.e., 7.6 % less than a year ago.As compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, employment rate has grown by 2.1 percentage point, while number of employed persons – by 16.3 thousand.
Average gross wages and salaries in Latvia reach EUR 829
In the 3rd quarter of 2015, average gross wages and salaries in the country comprised EUR 829 – 7.3 % more than in the corresponding period a year ago. The sharpest wage and salary rise was recorded in private sector (by 8.3 % during the year), whereas increase observed in public sector constitutes 5.4 %. The most notable wage and salary rise was recorded in accommodation and food service activities (by 10.6 %), real estate activities (by 10.5 %), construction (by 9.3 %), arts, entertainment and recreation (by 9.3 %) and wholesale and retail trade (by 9.0 %).
Number of foreign visitors has increased by 2.6 %; of tourists from Russia – reduced by one third
In the 9 months of 2015 there were 1.7 mln foreign visitors in Latvian accommodation establishments, which is 2.6 % more than in the corresponding period of 2014. Even though number of visitors from Russia has reduced by 33 % and total number of overnight stays in accommodation establishments also has dropped by 1.8 %, number of visitors from other countries has gone up, for example, from Estonia – by 16.5 %, from Lithuania – by 22.9 %, which partially compensated reduction in the number of tourists from Russia.
The largest growth – in sales by post and in internet stores
In 11 months of 2015, as compared to the same period of 2014, total retail trade turnover has grown by 5.2 %, according to calendar adjusted data at constant prices. Retail trade in food products increased by 2.8 %, whereas retail sale of non-food products – by 6.8 %. Mostly turnover grew in retail sale via mail order houses or via Internet (by 35.9 %; NACE Rev. 2 G 47.91), as well as in retail sale of computers, peripheral units, software and telecommunications equipment (by 19.5 %; NACE Rev. 2 G 47.41-47.42).
In ten months of 2015 increase in industry comprised 3.4 %
Compared to corresponding period of 2014, in the 10 months of 2015 industrial production volume grew by 3.4 %, according to calendar adjusted data at constant prices. Rise in mining and quarrying comprised 8.2 %, in manufacturing – 4.1 %, while in electricity and gas supply there was a decrease of 1.4 %. The largest growth in manufacturing was recorded in manufacture of basic metals, computer, electronic and optical products – of 40 %, in manufacture of furniture – of 13.5 % and in wood processing – of 6.3 %. In turn drop was observed in manufacture of wearing apparel - of 17.4 %, in manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products - of 8.8 % and in manufacture of food products - of 5.2 %.
In January–October 2015 main exports productwas wood and articles of wood
In 10 months of 2015 foreign trade value of goods at current prices reached EUR 19.0 bln – EUR 42.3 mln or 0.2 % more as compared to 10 months of 2014. Of which exports value increased by EUR 82.0 mln or 1.0 %, but imports value fell by EUR 39.7 mln or 0.4 %. Foreign trade balance slightly improved as exports in total foreign trade value increased to 45.2 % (in January–October 2014 – 44.8 %).
In 10 months of 2015 Latvia mostly exported wood and wood products; wood charcoal in amount of EUR 1 469.7 mln (to the United Kingdom – 21.1%, to Germany – 10.6%, to Sweden – 9.2%), electrical machinery and equipment in amount of EUR 1 078.6 mln (to Lithuania – 23.9%, to Estonia – 9.4%, to Poland – 7.3%), mineral products in amount of EUR 590.3 mln (to Lithuania – 51.6%, to Poland – 16.1%, to Germany – 3.5%). In 10 months of 2015 main exports partners of Latvia were Lithuania (19.0% of total exports), Estonia (11.7%), Russia (7.8%), Germany (6.7%) and Poland (6.2%).
Mostly passenger traffic by rail has reduced
In the 9 months of 2015, 186.7 mln passengers were carried by public transport, which is a decrease of 2.6 % compared to the corresponding period of 2014. Mostly reduced passenger traffic by rail – by 2 mln or 13.3 %. 65.1 mln passengers were carried by urban electrified transport, which is a decrease of 4.5% compared with the corresponding period of 2014. Number of passengers carried by regular bus traffic lines has remained the same.
Beate Danusēviča, Kristīne Romanovska
Information and Communication Section
media [at] csb [dot] gov [dot] lv
Tel.: +371 67366924, +371 67366621, +371 27880666
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