Latvia: railway cargo decline significant

Latvia’s railway system is inefficient and needs to be changed so that it is possible to compete with other countries, because the tariffs Latvia has now are too high, said Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics President Inga Antane. Antane mentions experience of her colleagues: “Our colleagues in Germany made a very important political decision…

Latvia: retail trade growing in June 2017

Latvia’s retail trade volume this June, as compared with the same month of 2016, grew by 3.2%, which is slightly more than the average in the European Union, according to data from Eurostat. The most rapid retail trade growth in June was registered in Slovenia (+10.2%), followed by Croatia (+8.2%) and Slovakia (+8.1%). Estonia’s retail…

Latvia: Latvia’s bread market stabilizes

Latvia’s bread market has stabilized: demand for bread with high added value continues growing, some growth is also noted for traditional bread segments, according to analysts’ data. In Estonia and Lithuania, like Latvia, there was an increase in demand for high-quality bread. According to data from Nielsen, generally there is a slight decline (1%) on…

Latvia: GDP up in Q2 2017

In Q2 compared to the corresponding period of 2016 GDP grew by 4.1%, according to seasonally and working days non-adjusted data and by 4.8% according to seasonally and working days adjusted data. During Q2, the GDP was affected by an 8% increase in the volume of industrial production, 14% increase in construction, as well as…

Latvia: job cuts expected

As part of the state administration reform, job cuts are planned for 58,000 employees of different institutions. This does not apply to independent institutions such as the prosecutor’s office, Saeima, State Audit and Supreme Court. The number of officials employed in Latvian state administration is higher than the average in the EU, as concluded in…

Latvia: construction costs up in June 2017

Compared to May, the level of construction costs in Latvia increased by 0.2% in June. Labor remuneration of workers rose by 0.4%, prices of building materials grew by 0.2%, whereas maintenance and operational costs of machinery and equipment increased by 0.1%, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. Compared to June 2016,…

Latvia: beef industry not sufficiently developed

Farmers Saeima believes Latvia’s beef industry is not sufficiently developed, and existing farms have not been sufficiently stabilized – many farms have major debt. Because of that any kind of support for the industry is welcome. Considering the recently voiced information about the possible reduction of voluntary support for livestock in 2017, the Farmers Saeima…

Latvia: rapid increase of excise tax to cause dramatic rise of smuggling activity

The National Association for Tobacco Product Manufacturers (TIRNA) is confused about Finance Ministry’s submitted proposals for tax reform that provide for raising excise tax on cigarettes by 11% instead of previously planned 5.5%. TIRNA believes the submitted proposals are rushed, economically unjustified and will not secure the economy any major tax income. “Exactly the opposite…

Latvia: Toyota sales up in H1 2017

5,735 new Toyota cars were sold in Baltic States in the first six months of 2017, up by 33% YoY. Toyota’s total market share in Baltics is 14.2%. Toyota sales in Latvia have grown by 25%. 1,264 new Toyota cars have been sold in Latvia since the beginning of the year. More than half of…

Latvia: envelope wages priority this year

More than half of Latvian employers pay their employees wages below the minimal monthly amount, said Director of the State Revenue Service Tax Control Office Sandra Karklina Admine on July 24. She says SRS puts a lot of effort into combating grey economy. Combating envelope wages will be one of this year’s main priorities, she…

Latvia: Norvik Banka and Rietumu Banka fined

Finance and Capital Market Commission in cooperation with Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counterproliferation Center found out in a target inspection that Latvian banks – Norvik Banka and Rietumu Banka – had not followed requirements of regulations for the prevention of money laundering and terrorism funding. Violations are associated with client evaluation, which includes transaction monitoring…