Economy
Latvia's foreign trade in March down 18%
Latvia's foreign trade in March down 18%
Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) provisional data published May 10 show that in March 2024 Latvia had foreign trade turnover of EUR 3.31 billion (at current prices 17.9 % lower than a year ago), of which value of exported goods reduced by 18.8 % and of imported goods by 17 %.
Heating season comes to a close in Latvia
Heating season comes to a close in Latvia
The heating season in Latvia is coming to an end. According to heating companies, the situation remains generally stable and arrears do not exceed 2-4%. Payment discipline remains unchanged - debts accumulated in winter are gradually paid off in summer. Heat tariffs have also fallen this season and the use of wood chips for heating is increasing, Latvian Radio reported on May 10.
Industry repeatedly pushes for reduced VAT on catering
Industry repeatedly pushes for reduced VAT on catering
The initiative to introduce reduced value-added tax (VAT) in the amount of 12% for public catering will continue to be viewed next week by the Saeima budget and Finance (tax) Commttee, deputies decided on Wednesday, LETA reports.
airBaltic issues bonds of EUR 340 million
airBaltic issues bonds of EUR 340 million
Latvian airline airBaltic has issued 5-year and 3-month secured bonds in the amount of EUR 340 million at 14.50% interest rate, airBaltic told the media in a statement on May 7 evening.
Latvia plans compensations for those living near wind turbines
Latvia plans compensations for those living near wind turbines
There have been years of fighting between residents and wind farm developers, and over the years Latvia has fallen well behind its neighbors in the development of wind energy. Latvia now plans to implement a compensation system for those whose properties are close to wind turbines, Latvian Television reported on May 5.
Latvia unveils its biggest solar power plant
Latvia unveils its biggest solar power plant
The most ambitious solar power plant in Latvia to date - Kalkūnes SES in the region of Augšdaugava, near Daugavpils - has started production.  The new power plant has sufficient production capacity to supply at least 6,500 households in Daugavpils, investors say, Latvian Radio reported on May 3.
"Latvijas Gāze" dividends payment to Russian companies challenged in court
"Latvijas Gāze" dividends payment to Russian companies challenged in court
How correct is it that the Latvian gas company "Latvijas gāze" paid out several million euros in dividends to Russian state companies on its profits last summer? This question has been brought to court. The case against the company was brought by lawyer Mārtiņš Kvēps, who believes that the fact that we are allowing dividends to end up in the hands of the Kremlin is a stain on the entire country, Latvian Television reported on May 2. 

Energy prices soared around the world after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This helped energy companies, including Latvijas gāze, to make good profits. Coupled with the company's retained earnings from previous years, Latvijas gāze could pay out a significant sum to its shareholders - almost €110 million.
Retail trade up 2.8% in March in Latvia
Retail trade up 2.8% in March in Latvia
Calendar-adjusted data (at constant prices) published by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) on April 29 show that, compared to March 2023, in March 2024 total retail trade turnover increased by 2.8 %.
Latvia's weak GDP trend continued in first quarter
Latvia's weak GDP trend continued in first quarter
A flash estimate released by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) April 29 shows that in the 1st quarter of 2024, compared to the 1st quarter of 2023, gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 0.2 % (according to seasonally and calendar non-adjusted data).
Small rise recorded in construction costs
Small rise recorded in construction costs
Data published by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) April 26 show that in March 2024, compared to March 2023, the level of construction costs in Latvia increased by 1.9 %. 
OECD: Latvia has 'room to raise tax revenue'
OECD: Latvia has 'room to raise tax revenue'
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said April 25 that Latvian policymakers should consider increasing revenues by raising taxes, shifting the burden from labor to real estate and assets.
Producer prices down 7% on year in Latvia
Producer prices down 7% on year in Latvia
Data from the Central Statistical Bureau published on April 22 show that in March 2024, compared to March 2023, the level of producer prices in the Latvian industry decreased by 7.2 %. 
Government ran 2.2% of GDP budget deficit in 2023
Government ran 2.2% of GDP budget deficit in 2023
Provisional data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) and published April 22 show that in 2023 Latvia's general government budget deficit accounted for EUR 893 million or 2.2 % of the gross domestic product (GDP) and, compared to 2022, it was EUR 886 million less.
Search for LIAA's director ends without result
Search for LIAA's director ends without result
Economics Minister Viktors Valainis (Union of Greens and Farmers) has decided to terminate the tender for the post of Director of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA) without result, Latvian Television reported April 22.
Producer prices down in March
Producer prices down in March
Data released by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) April 22 show that in March 2024, compared to March 2023, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry decreased by 7.2 %. 
Latvia invests 6 million euros via World Bank 'hybrid capital' scheme
Latvia invests 6 million euros via World Bank 'hybrid capital' scheme
On Thursday, April 18, Finance Minister Arvils Ašeradens announced the investment of 6 million euros in 'hybrid capital' via the World Bank (WB) at the annual spring meeting of the trustees of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington.
One third of Latvian population uses credit cards
One third of Latvian population uses credit cards
According to a new survey carried out by "Kredītinformācijas Birojs'' (Credit information bureau) two-thirds of Latvian citizens (65%) currently use some form of credit service, and over the last 10 years, that figure has increased by of 3%. The most commonly used financial loan services are credit card, installment plan and home loan.
Telecoms prices on the rise in Latvia
Telecoms prices on the rise in Latvia
Telecommunications services are getting more expensive. Companies explain that they have provided better internet and other improvements, so customer bills are also rising, Latvian Television reported April 16.
Most homes sold and bought in Latvia are Soviet-era flats
Most homes sold and bought in Latvia are Soviet-era flats
The high Euribor interest rates set by the European Central Bank (ECB) have had an impact on the property market. Currently, residents mainly buy serial Soviet-era building apartments, besides, a large proportion do not use bank loans, but buy apartments at their own expense, Latvian Radio reported on April 15.
Balvi municipality to fire 100 employees to solve financial crisis
Balvi municipality to fire 100 employees to solve financial crisis
The Balvi Municipality Council, which has found itself in a financial crisis, has decided to make structural changes to the local government to save funds. As a result, around 100 people will lose their jobs in local government institutions, Latvian Radio reported April 12.
Inflation rate picked up in Latvia in March
Inflation rate picked up in Latvia in March
The latest data published by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) April 9 show that in March 2024, compared to March 2023, the average level of consumer prices increased by 0.9 %.

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