Business environment went up in all sectors in March

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Data of business tendency surveys published March 31 by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in March 2023, business confidence indicators are positive in the retail trade and services sector, while in manufacturing and construction, business confidence indicators are still negative.

Business confidence indicators characterize general situation in the sector and they are acquired by carrying out business surveys in industry, construction, retail trade, and services sector. If the indicator is above zero, business environment is positive, if it is below zero – business environment is negative.

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In March 2023 confidence indicator in retail trade was 8.9, according to seasonally adjusted data, and, compared to February, it has risen by 1.5 percentage points. With the arrival of spring business environment, according to seasonally unadjusted data, is positive and more optimistic than in February in all sub-sectors of retail trade. The highest values of confidence indicators are in the sale of motor vehicles (12.7), as well as in the sale and repair of motor vehicle parts and accessories (9.6). 

In the services sector, the seasonally adjusted confidence indicator in March 2023 was 5.4 and business environment of entrepreneurs, compared to February, has improved by 1.8 percentage points. The most optimistic entrepreneurs in March were in insurance (21.7), air transport (21.1) and advertising and market research (19.7). In turn, the lowest business confidence indicators were in security and investigation services (- 17.8), as well as in land and water transport sectors (- 13.3 and - 21.9, respectively). 

According to seasonally adjusted data, in March confidence indicator in construction comprised - 7.1, which has improved by 2.5 percentage points as compared to the previous month.

The confidence indicator in manufacturing in March comprised - 4.9. As compared to February, it has risen by 1.7 percentage points.

In March 2023 economic sentiment indicatorljk in Latvia is 97.9, and for the first time since November 2020 this is higher than in the European Union. This indicator characterizes general socio-economic situation in the country during a certain period of time (month), and it is calculated by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs for all EU countries according to a common methodology, taking 15 various seasonally adjusted components included in industry, construction, retail trade and services sector, as well as in consumer confidence indicator4, as a basis.

In Lithuania and Estonia economic sentiment indicator in March is 94.4 and 84.2, respectively. In Estonia business environment in March is negative in all sectors – industry, construction, retail trade and services sector. Also consumer confidence is negative, thus economic sentiment indicator is lower than in other Baltic countries. In turn, in Lithuania business environment in manufacturing is particularly low, but, compared to Latvia and Estonia, consumer confidence indicators are significantly higher.

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