German businesses cautiously optimistic on Baltic growth

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http://www.ahk-balt.orgThe annual survey of business sentiment carried out by the German-Baltic Chambers of Commerce (AHK) in the Baltic states was released Wednesday showing a generally positive tendency among both German businesses in Latvia and Latvian businesses doing business with Germany. 

However, true to form, respondents showed themselves to be generally more more pessimistic regarding Latvia than Estonian and Lithuanian equivalents.

Asked to evaluate the current economic situation, just 15% of the 114 companies taking part regarded the situation in Latvia as 'good' (31% in Estonia, 53% in Lithuania) though a further 73% agreed the situation was 'satisfactory' and just 12% described it as 'bad'.

AHK chief executive Florian Schroder gave LSM a brief overview of the main findings.

Florian Schroder on German-Baltic business sentiment
00:00 / 01:54

But if the current situation was regarded as no more than okay, businesses did seem upbeat about future prospects. 65% of respondents said they expected their own business situations to improve in the coming year - significantly better than Estonia's 41% and Lithuania's 53%.

On predicted turnover, Latvia did even better with 71% of respondents saying they expected an increase, again better than both Estonia and Lithuania. 

On average businesses expected wages to rise by 8% in the current year in Latvia, again ahead of Estonia (+4.6%) and Lithuania (+6.2%). 

Presenting the results, AHK stressed the need not only for the Baltic states to cooperate more in order to make the most of their joint 8-million-strong market but also for Latvia to develop its workforce's skills in order to remain competitive.

Germany's own economic success is based on the same principle, Schroder said: "It's because we have such a cutting edge when it comes to the workforce... you should not forget about the real workforce."

Florian Schroder on vocational training in Latvia
00:00 / 01:47

The full survey results can be read HERE.

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